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So he just turned himself in?

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" Originally presumed killed in action, the first human Spectre—former Alliance Commander Samed Shepard—landed on the Alliance base near Vancouver, Canada earlier this morning.

Docking on a ship similar to the SSV Normandy, Commander Shepard, Flight Lieutenant Jeff Moreau and several others turned themselves in after working with the organisation known as Cerberus, offering intel— "

—and much much more on the elusive group. Terra News Five will keep reporting about Shepard's pending trial . Words that were etched into Kaidan's mind after god knows how many times he watched the vid. That news footage aired days ago, of this swarthy man he once knew stepping out of the behemoth that was the Normandy SR2, his hands behind his short dark curls. And Joker right beside him.

Yeah. The man he followed through hell. The man he had a nice night out with before he died. The man he mourned. And finally, the man he saw alive and well on Horizon.

No, "well" wasn't the right word. He wasn't well. He went through hell trying to save that colony and now, as he walked out of this Normandy clone with several trained gunmen aiming at him—his eyes—they weren't the same. He’d definitely seen some stuff.

Shame he couldn't be there, with him. But how could he be? Did Shepard expect him to just drop everything and join? And while working for Cerberus?

He sighed.

At least Shepard turned himself in, for what good that did. He rewound the footage again to where his face was the closest and paused.

That didn't look like a man who would work for a terrorist organisation. But what did he know? For what it was worth, Shepard may have turned himself in for— For. 

His tortured chocolate-brown eyes as he gazed into that camera broke any thought. Every Single Time. Damn it.

" Attention all passengers. We will be arriving in—Vancouver International and Interplanetary Station—in—five—minutes. Please remain in your seats until the end of the flight."

Kaidan zipped up his jacket and put on the cheap pair of sunglasses he bought from the port on Mars. Those should do the trick, alright. And a seat in the back. Yeah. There would be lots or reporters too. Not to mention important military personnel. Nobody would notice that he came to the hearing. Most importantly, Shepard wouldn't notice. Or maybe he should. No, that was a bad idea.

…This whole thing was a bad idea. Maybe a trip to his parents' house was better. The place would be swarming with reporters anyways, he could probably catch it on the news. But what if nonmilitary personnel wasn't allowed access to the courtroom?

" Now arriving in—Vancouver International and Interplanetary Station. The current temperature is—fourteen—degrees. Enjoy your stay!"

Kaidan stepped out from the shuttle onto the busy station and headed for the exit. The crisp September air gripped his lungs and limbs as he raised a hand and called a cab. After a short wait, a red car met his call and he stepped in, closing the door after him.

"Where to?" the cab driver asked—a question that carried more weight for him than she could even realize.

"Hornby Street," the words came out on their own, "Federal Court District."

"Ah, you here for Shepard's trial too, eh? Had five calls for the same location already. Don't worry, gonna get you there in ten."

Guess this was it. Shepard's first trial, out of many. He better give damn good answers about why he worked for Cerberus.

A pain started prodding between his eyes, seeping into his sinuses—almost like a migraine. It was probably the glasses. Of course gas station sunglasses would be headache inducing. He took them off and hung them on the collar of his dark, faux-leather jacket. Well this was definitely a setback. Shepard better not see him there.

A cab ride later, Kaidan stepped out of the vehicle onto the Alliance Courthouse’s steps. He strode to the main door and was stopped by two guards wanting to see his ID. He flashed his military badge and he was in.

It was obvious which door it was—the one with the most people around it, of course, clamouring to get in. Kaidan flashed his badge once more and entered the large room full of people in military uniform and a lot of cameras and mics pointed at the judge's bench. He took up a seat in the leftmost corner, farthest from any eyes and waited.

A tight grip gnawed on his abdomen as Shepard was brought in the room with holographic cuffs on his hands and two men accompanying him.

Kaidan couldn't help but give a faint smile at those holo cuffs. Knowing Samed— Shepard —if he wanted to, he could hack through them and run. Did they really think a pair of handcuffs could stop the man who managed to steal the SR1 out of the Citadel?

And yet he stayed. He was serious about this. Oh Shepard. What have you gotten yourself into?


The crispy air of Vancouver hugged Kaidan’s body once more as he walked out of the Alliance Courthouse building.

Well that turned out to be a waste of time. All the judge did was announce Shepard’s house arrest and that the investigation would be handled by the defense committee from now on. Which meant no news coverage. He could still go to the proceedings, but—

Seeing him again, seeing him like this… The same dreadful gnaw that occupied his life for the last two years, that he worked so desperately to get over—pulled through his body again, like acid in the veins. Distance would be good. It would help.

Kaidan took one last glance at the Alliance building. The image of Samed with his hands cuffed, patiently waiting for the judge’s orders lingered in his mind. His eyes were oddly peaceful back there, unlike in that news footage. Maybe a visit would be— 

No. That wouldn't be wise. Not in the slightest, for both of them. It didn’t matter how much he missed his smile again, or the way they talked—

A warmth hugged his stomach, a pleasant feeling he knew all too well. Damn it. He placed his hands in the pockets of his jacket and started to tread the streets of Vancouver in the fittingly gloomy weather. No cab this time. A walk would do him good. Give him time to process all of this.