Blinding and sudden.
It was different from the darkness that had been before, and it hurt like hell.
Was this what Ashley had spoken about? The white light at the end of your life. Was she dead?
She supposed she could be. The last thing she remembered was being spaced and watching the Normandy explode.
She could be dead. That could explain the light.
“Oh my god, Miranda…”
Were their supposed to be voices? Did Ashley ever say? It was supposed to be peaceful wasn’t it? Surely there wasn’t supposed to be so much pain.
No, she couldn’t be dead. No matter how bad the situation, pain meant that you were still alive to feel it.
So, the Alliance had come for them in time like she had told Liara they would. They’d saved them.
Now if she could just get to the light.
”I think she’s waking up…”
She wanted to scream when a pale hand moved in front of her eyes and white hot agony seared through her, but her mouth would not work to make a sound.
She couldn’t speak. Why couldn’t she speak?!
“Take it easy, Shepard. Try not to move.”
A dark haired woman thrust her way into her field of vision; a surprisingly tender grip forcing the pale white hand back down.
White hot pain raced through her again at the movement.
“It’s not working. Her vitals are spiking.”
“She’s panicking. Give her another dose of the sedative.”
Crystal blue eyes found her own once more.
“Shepard, I need you to calm down. You’re ok, but you’re going to hurt yourself. Calm down. Can you do that for me?”
Her voice was soft but commanding and Shepard fought to listen to it as her mind raced to assess the situation. Whatever had happened, this woman was clearly in charge, knew who she was, and said she was ok.
“Take a deep breath.”
She could feel the bone deep warmth of sleep slowly chasing the pain away, but she fought to resist its pull. Everything in her wanted to stay awake and away from the darkness, but it crept up her muscles with the near overwhelming invitation to give in to the peace awaiting.
It was like that time Mom draped that blanket over her when she caught her past bedtime determined to watch the stars from the hammock.
Or when Liara wrapped her arms around her that last night when she had stayed up too late working and had nodded off sitting at her console.
“Her heart rate’s dropping. Vitals returning to normal.”
The dark haired woman smiled. “That’s it, Commander. You’re ok. Take a deep breath.”
Shepard focused on her voice, heavily accented in a way she couldn’t process, and tried to follow orders.
Her chest was heavy as she fought to draw in a slow, deep breath. They’d taught her about breathing techniques to control the panic attacks after Akuze.
In and out.
She remembered how th…
Heavy eyes blinked slowly and the thought slid effortlessly from her mind.
Soft laughter filtered through her ears and Shepard turned her head to desperately follow the sound. With a slow blink of her eyes, the dim lighting of her cabin replaced the blinding white and Liara swam into view. Her dark lips were turned up in a shy smile.
You need to get some rest, Commander.
Who says I’m tired? I’d rather just lay here and look at you.
Liara’s soft exhalation lilted through her head once more even as her vision swam back to the white light above her.
I promise I’ll be here when you wake up.
She could feel the soft caress of the warm hand against her own cold one and a sense of peace enveloped her as she stared up into the blue eyes staring down at her.
No. Not Liara.
The Normandy …
Wishing she could control the sluggish thoughts sloughing in and out of her consciousness, she blinked heavy and slow once more.
She registered the faint protest as the dark haired woman rounded on whomever else was in the room and tore the blue away from her field of vision.
She wanted just one more glimpse of Liara’s blue eyes.
“Damnit, Wilson. I knew your numbers were off. Run them again. I want to know exactly how this happened.”
Shepard fought to command her eyes to remain open even as they slipped closed against the white light again.
I’ll be here.
A lone tear danced a slow track down her cheek as she struggled to keep Liara's soft voice close.
Just one more glimpse.
With one final push against the inevitable, Jane Shepard succumbed to darkness once more.