Warning; language, angst
Summary; John Shepard wants to show trust talking about what he finds the hardest to talk about. His past.
AN: Sorry for the flat out error ridden part I wrote last, I am on this super strong antibiotic, and it might fuck with my head more than I thought. So sorry! Thanks for all the faves though. =) I really appreciate it.
Kaidan had played Shepard’s video message over and over, trying to make up his mind if he was touched or pissed off. In the end he had buried himself in work like he always did, but the message haunted him, day and night. He felt slightly stupid when he just resigned himself to sitting down in front of the monitor, turning on the recording. “Hi John..” He started, not sure what he should say. Hell he wasn’t even sure if Shepard was even alive. “I don’t really know what to say. I.. I would have preferred to tell you this to your face really.” A dark shadow passed over his face, but he didn’t add anything like what he was thinking. That he would never be able to tell Shepard this to his face, because no one ever had come back from the Omega4 really. But still he had faith that if anyone would return, it would be John.
“I honestly didn’t know what to do with that information.” He said, looking down at his hands in his lap, “I know it was not what you wanted, but I looked some people up for you.” He looked up again and absentmindedly chewed on his lip, “I know it was hard on you to tell me all that, but I thought that I at least could help you get some closure.” He smiled a vague boyish smile at the camera, it still felt weird and disjointed to carry a conversation with Shepard like this. “I figured you’d like that, closure I mean.”
He leaned in over the table and took a datapad. “Your brother Mark, he wasn’t amongst the Akuze survivors, neither was his wife. I’m sorry. I wish I had better news. But you see, Mark was not called Shepard. He apparently changed his name when he left earth. He and his wife was called Farway, which would have confused anyone who didn’t know what they were looking for.” Kaidan smiled a little timidly, not sure if he should be praising himself in this situation. “They had a surviving son, called Johnny.” He could just imagine the mix of amusement and anticipation on Shepard’s face, and held up a file with a picture. “Let me introduce you to Lieutenant John Adam Farway, your nephew. And as far as I can see, only living relative.”
He place the datapad with the picture on the table, “I haven’t contacted him, the poor man don’t know he is related to the John Shepard.” Kaidan said with a slight proud smile. Some crazy part inside him felt like one of them gameshow hosts on the one of those matchmaking shows that was everyone’s guilty pleasure. “I figured you wanted to tell him that in person, if you even want to tell him that is..” Kaidan knew that it was a ridiculous hope he needed to have, that John would be able to tell his nephew that he had some family, because that would mean that John made it back from the Omega4 relay alive. Kaidan looked thoughtfully into the camera for a while, “John I hope you get to tell him this yourself. I guess what I’m trying to say is – That I hope you come back in one piece.” He simply didn’t know what to say more than that, and he leaned in and switched off the recorder, sending the message before he could regret it.
There! He had said it, he had done it.
Kaidan didn’t really get a chance to talk with Shepard again for a long time. He had been surprised when he had seen John at the council, he had heard that the Normandy had made it back, but as Shepard had turned himself and his crew into the Alliance upon entering Citadel space. The information had been stonewalled. He couldn’t even be told where Shepard was held, and everything was above his security level. He had just been relieved that Shepard had made it back. And as far as he could find out, so had most the crew that had set out with the new Normandy under Cerberus colors. He had looked at the list of names and only recognized a few. He knew Dr. Chackwas and Garrus. He thought he recalled some of the other names of staff but he wasn’t sure. Important thing was that John had made it, and he had made the right choice turning himself and the ship in. Kaidan couldn’t help but to be a little proud of him.
It was not until the Normandy was on it’s way to the Citadel from earth, that Kaidan once more had a chance to talk to Shepard. To Shepard’s surprise, he didn’t say anything; he just waited till the docking hangar was closed and the terrible scene of earth’s destruction was hidden behind steel. And then he buried John Shepard in a little too tight embrace. No words in the world could express how happy he was to see the Commander alive and kicking, even if the circumstances could have been better. A lot better.
Shepard returned the embrace. “Good to see you Major Alenko.” He said softly, the smile evident in his voice.
“You too.” Kaidan said, he would have said more, but suddenly the docking bay was crawling with people, running in and out, needing confirmation of this and that.
They were on their way to Mars before Kaidan had a chance to actually really speak to Shepard. As usual Shepard was surrounded by datapads, trying to cover as much information as possible, in the shortest time possible. “Hey Shepard.” Kaidan said, leaning against the door frame of the Captains quarters, clutching a datapad.
Shepard looked up and smiled tired, “Hey there yourself, Alenko.”
“Do you have a moment?” Kaidan asked, knowing the answer, but hoping that Shepard wouldn’t deny him.
“Sure.” Shepard said, putting down the datapad in his hand, turning his chair to face Kaidan. “Something I can help you with?”
“I know it might be a bad time and all..” Kaidan started, kicking himself mentally, that he was already apologizing for what he was about to say. “But did you get the message I sent you on the Normandy?”
“Yeah..” Shepard drawled, scratching his cheek. “I’ve been meaning to get back to you on that one, but things just went so fast suddenly.”
“Have you thought about what you want to do with that information?” Kaidan asked, knowing he was pushing for an answer as he held out the datapad to Shepard.
Shepard gingerly took the datapad. “I don’t know Kaidan, I mean wouldn’t it just seem a little… uhm I don’t know, insincere to show up after all those years?”
Kaidan stepped inside the captains cabin, leaning on Shepard’s desk with a hand, looking down at John who sat with the datapad in his lap, like it was diseased or something, barely touching it. “John, these are bad times, and I think both you and he would benefit from knowing you have family.”
Biting his lip, Shepard nodded slowly, “What happened to him? I mean on Akuze.”
“No the kid, Johnny.” Shepard said, running a hand over the datapad.
“Another family took him in.” Kaidan said, “And he lived there with them, till he turned 18 and joined the Alliance. Sound familiar?”
Shepard nodded thoughtfully. “So where is he?” He looked up at Kaidan for an answer.
“Last I checked, and that was when I pulled his file, then he was on earth, but I am not sure where. And no one really knows now. You could look up his company?” Kaidan smiled nervously, “Or not.”
“I could do that.” Shepard said and smiled again. “But you’re coming with me then.”
Kaidan arched a brow, but nodded. “If you want me to.”
“You started this.” Shepard said placing the datapad on the table amongst the others. “Next time we’re back on earth, we are going to look up his company and hope he’s still alive.”
Kaidan turned and walked towards the door. Suddenly he turned and looked at Shepard who returned his attention to the datapads about Mars and the library. “Hey Shepard, what if he is dead by then?”
“Then he is dead.” Shepard said without even turning around.
Kaidan nodded, he couldn’t really argue with that logic, so he just turned again and walked out.
It would be a very long time before Shepard and the Normandy once more touched down on Earth. Kaidan knew that Shepard most likely had forgotten everything about his nephew, and now was the time to remind him. He gently touched Shepard’s arm, causing John to turn around. “Your nephew.” He said, “He is here. In London I mean, what do you want us to do?”
“He is?” Shepard just said surprised. And Kaidan weren’t sure he was surprised because he was reminded of his long lost nephew, or because he was in London.
“I don’t mean to push you, but you really need to make up your mind. We don’t have a lot of time.” Kaidan said, raising his voice so he wouldn’t be drowned out by distant fighting.
Shepard nodded. He took off his helmet and unceremoniously sat down on a less ruined bench. “What do you think I should do?” He asked Kaidan, his tone a little insecure and childish. Something Kaidan had never heard in the commanders voice before.
“I think we should go to the southwest part of town, and look up his platoon. I don’t know much besides that he is in the 103’rd.” Kaidan admitted, “And that is a huge division.” He shrugged, “So we might have to search a little before we find him.”
Shepard nodded. “Okay, let’s do it then.” He looked up at Kaidan, his helmet discarded on the ground between his feet. “Do you think..”
“What I think is.. ” Kaidan reached out and caressed Shepard’s cheek with a gloved hand, letting it linger a little. “That it matters to you, so it matters to me.” The loving smile that Shepard gave Kaidan could have melted him seven times over, but this was not the time, nor the place. “Gather some men, I hear there is heavy fighting in southwest London.”
“Hey soldier, I’m looking for the 103’rd.” Shepard yelled, trying to drown out the war noise.
The Soldier adjusted his helmet and looked up at Shepard. “You’re looking at it, well some of it at least.”
Shepard waved Kaidan and James in “We found them!” He yelled.
“We’re looking for Lieutenant John Farway. Do you know him?” Kaidan yelled. Wishing desperately the world would shut up for a while so he could collect his thoughts.
“Uhm.. I think there is a Farway in the 8th Marine regiment.” The soldier looked a little lost for a while, “I’d try something like maybe half a click to your six.” He pointed down the street, “Can’t tell you if they are still there, or if anyone is still alive.” They all ducked and covered from falling debris as something exploded close to them.
Shepard grabbed the Soldier’s arm, and looked nodded proudly “Thank you. And good luck soldier.”
“Likewise, Sir.” The soldier said, smiling weakly.
“Move out!” Shepard yelled, making off along the ruins with James and Kaidan in tow.
They were about halfway to where the Soldier had told them to go, when James suddenly shouted, “Commander! I see movement at nine.”
Shepard spun around, seeing some Alliance Marines trying to run and shoot some of the large Rachni Husks, while dragging their wounded. “Let’s give them a hand.” Shepard yelled, crossing the street, double checking his ammo.
It didn’t take them long to take out the immediate enemy. Shepard was checking on one of the wounded marines, he seriously didn’t think her chances were great, actually he would be surprised if she survived the trip back to the FOB. James looked over the battered marines, “Hey any of you know a Johnny Farway?”
“Maybe..” One of the marines said. “Why?”
Kaidan swallowed all smartassed answers he could think of, and just answered, “Because we have some news for him. Something for his ears only.”
The soldier looked over the sad remains of his platoon, and then stood, taller and broader than Kaidan, who felt himself slightly intimidated even if he tried not to. “I am Johnny Farway, but anything you N7 people has to say, you can say here.”
Shepard looked over at Kaidan, not sure if they should do this. But Kaidan nodded and Shepard took a deep breath. “Alright.” He said, walking over to Farway. He had to look up to look the large man in the eyes, searching for a remnant of Mark. “Your parents, their names were Mark and Sandra, am I right?”
“Yes?” Farway said his expression going from hostile to puzzled.
Shepard wet his lips, “I have been looking for you Johnny.” He resisted the urge to look over at Kaidan again. “Mark was my brother, and so..”
Farway looked even more puzzled, sitting down on the remains of a brick wall. Staring at Shepard. “You’re my uncle?”
“Long story.” Shepard admitted, “I stayed on earth and Mark went to Akuze with your mom.”
“Wow.. ” Farway looked floored by this information. “Could we?..”
“Commander Shepard.” James said, stepping up behind John. “We should get the wounded back to the FOB, before the enemy regroup.”
Shepard nodded. “You’re right.”
Farway’s eyebrows furrowed, “You’re Commander Shepard? The Commander Shepard?”
“The one and only.” Kaidan shot in, feeling slightly stupid, but he knew that John would never acknowledge such praise.
“Shit.” Farway looked over at another soldier at his side, “Did you hear that? I’m not imagining this, right?”
“No Sir, it’s very real.”
“Good.” Farway stood up and shook his head slightly amused, “My uncle is Commander Shepard, that is just madness.” He smiled widely, as he went straight past John, Kaidan and James, aiming towards the wounded marines. “He was right, we should see if we can make it back so Greene and Jones can get some medical attention.”
Kaidan put down a cup of coffee in front of Shepard as he was again, frantically searching datapads for the answer to a successful attack. “Your nephew is something of a hero in his own right.” Kaidan said, seating himself next to Shepard, snatching the datapad from Shepard.
John looked up at Kaidan and smiled worn and worried. “He is.” Shepard took his coffee and sipped the warm liquid. “He’ll be alright, he can hold himself.”
“Still he’s only human. Like you.” Kaidan said, not even bothering to mask up his accusation, that Shepard took too many risks.
“Don’t start.” Shepard sighed, putting down the cup, he reached for Kaidan’s hand, rubbing it lovingly, but not too obvious to the other people in the room. “Looking him up was the right thing to do. Thank you.” Shepard smiled again, this time with a little more conviction. He let go of Kaidan’s hand again. “I’m almost done with this, the briefing will be in an hour. I suggest you get some rest.”
“Don’t baby me.” Kaidan huffed.
Shepard frowned, “That was an order, Major Alenko.”
“Only if you come and sleep next to me.” Kaidan whispered, leaning in over the table so no one would hear.
“No time.” Shepard said flatly.
“John.” Kaidan said with an insisting tone. “Now is not the time to be a stubborn ass.”
Shepard sighed, “True.” He reluctantly left his work and went with Kaidan to an abandoned backroom where two soldiers were already sleeping on makeshift cots.
“So much for that idea.” Kaidan said shooting Shepard a wicked grin.
John just rolled his eyes. “Hey Kaidan, I have been thinking of something.” He said sitting down in footend of a cot. “We gave Farway something to fight for didn’t we?”
“That we did.” Kaidan let himself fall back in the narrow cot, pulling John with him down. Sighing blissfully no matter how uncomfortable he was, just that Shepard was laying here, wrapped around him, made anything worth it. “Don’t you want to get to know him? After the war I mean.”
“I think he is married to the Alliance, my friend.” Shepard whispered, “Like some other I know.”
“She was wrong.” Kaidan said softly, knowing that Shepard was refering to Jack, who had accused John for being married to his job.
“She was?” Shepard asked, nuzzling closer, closing his eyes realising how tired he really was.
“You have me.” Kaidan said, feeling a little off, but smiled as Shepard squeezed him a little in his hold, and mumbled something like ‘yes I do’. But he was already half asleep, Kaidan could hear that on his breathing. He closed his own eyes thinking of Farway, he was sure that today they had made a man that had something to fight for, if he hadn’t had that before this whole thing. No matter of Shepard would dance around it, Kaidan hoped that he had also given John an extra reason to be safe.