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February 18, 2012
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When Kaidan Heard by Pickerupper When Kaidan Heard by Pickerupper
The fire from the Normandy’s explosion followed Kaidan’s pod well after they’d been able to reach a safe distance from the eruption.
All the while, Kaidan’s fingers were crossed and he kept his head looking back out the window; watching, scouting, waiting. For a sign out there that she had made it.
His palms were sweaty and he had felt like he could not breathe as he watched with wide eyes for that last pod to exit; right before the Normandy combusted completely. Sending pieces of Shepard’s precious ship everywhere as the single pod like a small light of shining hope hurtled towards Kaidan’s and the rest.
Finally he was able to get a breath out as orange, red and yellow flames licked up the rest of the Normandy lighting up the back drop for the pod.
She had made it. Of course she had, she was Shepard after all. Now all he could do, was sit and wait. Wait for the landing, and the moment when he could run straight for her pod and crush her in his arms. To reassure his conscious mind that the one thing that truly mattered to him; was still here.
Impatient, Kaidan wrestled with his hands in the shuttle and paid little attention to those that were watching him. They all knew how he felt about Shepard anyways; there was no need to answer any questions they had.
The pod touched down then, and Kaidan was the first to get out. He ran to a spot clear of pods and looked for the last pod, straining his eyes to see how long he had to wait for it. Kaidan’s stomach was cramping with thoughts of calamity.
Sounds of sirens for c-sec and medical care could be heard in the distance from where he stood, and Kaidan was tapped on the shoulder a few times to be asked if he needed any. Fed up he refused them all with some bitterness in his voice, all he needed to feel better right now was his Shepard.
It did not take long after that thought had crossed his mind, for the last evac pod to come hurtling into the ground. Gliding across the surface of the planet before coming to a stop some odd miles away from where Kaidan stood.
Not taking any time, Kaidan ran for the evac pod at once. His heart pounding just as hard as his feet hit the planet’s earth. Pieces of rubble, tiny rock and other unknown plants were pulled from where they rested as he went.
His eyes never left the evac pod as he ran, waiting for a door to pop open and for Shepard to touch ground. For Shepard to look around at her surroundings, before realising he was there too, and letting him bring her into his arms. Letting him crush her in the biggest hug he had always withheld from her.
This vision never happened.
Instead as Kaidan’s boot came to a stop in front of which seemed like this barrier before the pod, the door opened and only one person came out.
Just one, not two. One.
Feeling his head grow heavy with upheaval then, Kaidan closed his eyes and shook his head. His hands balled up into fists and this sick feeling wrenching though out his body hit him like a ton of bricks as Joker stepped towards him. Belief in everything and anything of such things called miracles, no longer existing in his mind. He felt trapped in this enslavement of lack of air, like a slave working in the mines in olden days.
“Kaidan I…” Joker tried to get out.
“Where is she Joker? Where is she?! She’s still in there right, just hiding…” Kaidan began, looking up at Joker with the pain clearly stricken through the glaze over his eyes.
“I…I’m sorry.” Was all Joker could say in reply. Kaidan lost it then, running forward and picking Joker up by the collar and pushing him up against the shuttle. Forgetting all about Joker’s brittle disease.
“Why isn’t she with you? Why did you have to try so damn hard to save the Normandy you idiot! What about her? What about…Shepard?” Kaidan’s voice choked on her name. “Didn’t you care for her as well? What about Shepard, you ass!” Kaidan sunk his head down then, and let Joker go; his fingers were nimble and weak as they shook with the realization that she was not there, on the pod. That she was in fact, not safe at all.
Joker fell to the ground, shocked by the anger and grief that rattled throughout Kaidan. And all he could do; was stare. Just as he had, after the spaced Shepard, who struggled for moments with her breaking suit. Watching as the air tube disconnected from her suit and she fought to breathe. Flaying around and panic written in every movement she made. Joker truly felt; atrocious.
Kaidan broke down to the ground himself then, on his knees and brought back a fist, filling it with biotic charge as he punched it into the ground over and over again. Plundering it with all this anguish he felt. Words of things he should have said; floating around in his head. Taunting him, haunting him, teasing him; for never doing anything about his love for her other than soft words and that one night before Ilos.
Why had he wasted so much time? Always taking for granted, that she would always be there. Hell, she had made it through everything. Why did this, have to take her away from him? Why had he never told Shepard how he truly felt about her, why could the words; I love you Shepard. Never escape from his mouth?
Tears bunched up at his eyes as his hand inside his glove started to bleed at the knuckles and the ground in which he’d punched countless times sizzled from the biotics, leaving a hole there like there was now in Kaidan’s heart.
She wasn’t supposed to die…she was supposed to live, to go on to save the galaxy from the reapers and spend many more nights in his arms, safe and sound. In their own little paradise.
Whose cruel idea of fun was this? What fun was there in killing Shepard?
The tears about to over flood his eyes, Kaidan stopped punching the ground with his biotic charge and looked up into the sky charred with browns, oranges and grays to yell at those who had took his Shepard from him.
His voice carried out through the surface of the planet, letting everyone within five miles hear the torment inside his heart as he let it all out.
“You fucking bastards!” Was all anyone could hear, even long after he had sent a last biotic pound to the ground and pressed his head against the cool earth. Spit from his gaping mouth flying out to greet the hard soil. Breathing hard and scrunching his eyes closed tight.
Trying to keep those images of her in his head, trying to not let them escape from his memory. But he was just grasping at empty space. For Shepard could not remain in his head forever, if there was no longer any vision of her to see.
He’d lost everything, his ship, his love…his Shepard. All at once. The torture in this could not be understood by anyone.
His breath ragged and his fists laced with sweat and blood, Kaidan relaxed his mind and caught the last image he had seen of her smiling.
I love you Shepard. I want you to know that. I’m…I’m sorry I could never say it. But I will now, even though it’s… so late…I love you, I love you Shepard.


Beautiful piece written for this picture by- :iconthatdragonagegirl:

Line art: [link]

This piece was literally the bane of my existence. I've never done a full background before, so please, don't mind the face that it looks like poop. The whole piece (Sad to admit this) took me well over 16 hours from start to finish. I coloured his armor, then got angry at it, and started over again haha. I'm far too critical. Oh Well. I really hope you guys enjoy it. I learned a lot about highlights and backgrounds from this piece. Enjoy~ :heart:
Add a Comment:
 
:iconphoenix-autobot:
phoenix-autobot Featured By Owner Jun 30, 2013   General Artist
That was ..snifff.. soo beutiful :cries:
Reply
:iconpickerupper:
Pickerupper Featured By Owner Jul 18, 2013  Hobbyist Digital Artist
Thank you! 
Reply
:iconrambie801:
Rambie801 Featured By Owner Aug 27, 2012
Love this fan-fic
Reply
:iconpickerupper:
Pickerupper Featured By Owner Aug 27, 2012  Hobbyist Digital Artist
Thank you! You should pop over to [link] and let her know! I'm sure she'd love it if you did :D
Reply
:iconkatschaba:
Katschaba Featured By Owner May 1, 2012
Thats amazing! And that story... heartbreaking. I love it! :)
Reply
:iconpickerupper:
Pickerupper Featured By Owner May 1, 2012  Hobbyist Digital Artist
Thank you! :D
Reply
:icondappledleaves:
Dappledleaves Featured By Owner Apr 13, 2012  Hobbyist General Artist
No joke..
I cried.
Reply
:iconpickerupper:
Pickerupper Featured By Owner Apr 13, 2012  Hobbyist Digital Artist
I'm so sorry! I'm glad you felt emotional as that was the point but... :( it's a bittersweet thank you.
Reply
:icondappledleaves:
Dappledleaves Featured By Owner Apr 13, 2012  Hobbyist General Artist
Don't apologize! If I cried that means your message was effectively conveyed. I love Kaidan as much as the next Shenko shipper, but sometimes you take for granted the pain Kaidan endured... *sigh* I really love this, thanks for posting it!
Reply
:iconpickerupper:
Pickerupper Featured By Owner Apr 13, 2012  Hobbyist Digital Artist
Oh thank you so much! You always wonder if your point gets across the way you want it too and it's so flattering when someone tells you it did. Thank you so, SO much!
Reply
:icondappledleaves:
Dappledleaves Featured By Owner Apr 24, 2012  Hobbyist General Artist
You're very welcome!
I love to communicate with the artist and give them my impression of their works. :)
Reply
:iconcool-cookie:
cool-cookie Featured By Owner Apr 3, 2012
:cry: Just ... aaah! Emotional!
Both the picture and story are fantastic though. Well done even if i am close to tears
Reply
:iconpickerupper:
Pickerupper Featured By Owner Apr 3, 2012  Hobbyist Digital Artist
Thank you! I'm so glad you liked it! I'd like to do another piece with the author in the future.
Reply
:iconcool-cookie:
cool-cookie Featured By Owner Apr 4, 2012
you should. both worked really well together :)
Reply
:iconthatdragonagegirl:
ThatDragonAgeGirl Featured By Owner Jun 25, 2012  Hobbyist General Artist
Thank You ^-^ It Was Fun Working With Pickerupper :D
Reply
:iconm-victoria-w:
M-Victoria-W Featured By Owner Mar 26, 2012  Hobbyist Photographer
Oh Brilliant now I'm crying :heartbreaker: The writing is beautiful bringing a tear to my eye. An then there is your picture... I can't begin to describe how amazing it is, especially as this is exactly how I assumed he'd react if she didn't come with him. Well done!!!! :Approval:
Reply
:iconpickerupper:
Pickerupper Featured By Owner Mar 27, 2012  Hobbyist Digital Artist
Ah, thank you so much! The writing was ever so beautiful and complimented my picture perfectly. Thank you so much!
Reply
:iconm-victoria-w:
M-Victoria-W Featured By Owner Mar 28, 2012  Hobbyist Photographer
Anytime! I mean what I say I'm in love with Kaidan and that just made me cry and love him more, after seeing that I just wanna give him a big hug!!!!
Reply
:iconkaylashy:
KAYLASHY Featured By Owner Mar 26, 2012
That was amazing, now i think i love my kaidan more <3 .... wish he wouldn't have been so cold to me in me2 :/ almost cheated XD!!!! Well written <3
Reply
:iconpickerupper:
Pickerupper Featured By Owner Mar 27, 2012  Hobbyist Digital Artist
I think he was so cold out of pure shock. I can only imagine how he must have been feeling after seeing what he thought was zombie shep.

And thank you!
Reply
:iconmanticoreex:
ManticoreEX Featured By Owner Mar 23, 2012  Professional Artisan Crafter
OH god! Oh god this is Too much.. This is too much seriously Playing it with the OSt from ME3 HURTS so BAD!.. Thank you!
Reply
:iconpickerupper:
Pickerupper Featured By Owner Mar 23, 2012  Hobbyist Digital Artist
Ah I'm glad you like it! And It was very emotional drawing it, so I understand your feels. </3
Reply
:iconmanticoreex:
ManticoreEX Featured By Owner Mar 23, 2012  Professional Artisan Crafter
It's perfect, it really is.. It feels real. I imagined the sound of Kaidan as he drops to the floor and hears that Shepard is gone
Reply
:iconaniphine:
Aniphine Featured By Owner Mar 12, 2012  Professional Writer
That is so sad, but so intense and powerful. I love this, but it makes my heart hurt a little. :D
Reply
:iconpickerupper:
Pickerupper Featured By Owner Mar 12, 2012  Hobbyist Digital Artist
It was very bittersweet drawing it, but I'm so glad you enjoy it!
Reply
:iconrohansoldier:
rohansoldier Featured By Owner Feb 24, 2012
very powerful, nicely done!

I think it makes more sense for Kaidan to react in this way, as out of the love interests in ME1, Liara wasn't on the Normandy when it blew (I don't think?) and Ashley would probably just react by saying something like 'F*****g alien bastards!' and going off to cap some asses....
Reply
:iconpickerupper:
Pickerupper Featured By Owner Feb 27, 2012  Hobbyist Digital Artist
I really wanted to do a companion piece with Ash doing something similar, but I don't think it's in her nature. So, sadly, I probably wont.

And thank you!
Reply
:iconthatdragonagegirl:
ThatDragonAgeGirl Featured By Owner Jun 25, 2012  Hobbyist General Artist
Oooo I Was Going Through These Comments Because I Wanted To Revisit This Amazing Piece And I Came Across This. Sorry To Intrude, But What You Guys Are Talking About Reminds Me Of This Qoute; 'People cry not because they are weak, but because they have been strong for too long.' It Would Totally Fit Ashley If You Ever Did A Piece Like This For Her :3 And Liara Could Tell Her That Or Something Like That. Because The Strongest Of People Cry When Everything Goes To Hell :3
Reply
:iconrohansoldier:
rohansoldier Featured By Owner Feb 28, 2012
Yeah I think she is too strong willed and military minded to act like that. Who knows though, maybe she keeps a lot of it bottled up just waiting for someone like you to write it out?

Cheers!
Reply
:iconk405-k1773n:
k405-k1773n Featured By Owner Feb 24, 2012
Gorgeous baby, your art is always amazing. <3
Reply
:iconpickerupper:
Pickerupper Featured By Owner Feb 27, 2012  Hobbyist Digital Artist
Aww Thank you! I've been waiting to see more art from you too!
Reply
:iconpaniic-romance:
paniic-romance Featured By Owner Feb 23, 2012
Can ... Can I cry ?! Because this picture, this piece are just BEAUTIFUL. It breaks my little heart, especially the end.
Reply
:iconpickerupper:
Pickerupper Featured By Owner Feb 23, 2012  Hobbyist Digital Artist
You're more than welcome to cry! Let all the feelings out. The piece that was written for this was simply beautiful, and I'm so glad you enjoyed it! I think writers and artists should collaborate more often. Thank you so much!
Reply
:iconavelineh:
Avelineh Featured By Owner Feb 21, 2012  Hobbyist Digital Artist
Oh my god, this was gorgeous. The picture and the text both. And now I'm sobbing here and I can't stop! :cry:

I just finished my ME2 play where my Shepard stayed true to Kaidan and I can't simply wait for Mass Effect 3 to be released. And this piece made it even harder! D: All I can say is, awesome job!
Reply
:iconpickerupper:
Pickerupper Featured By Owner Feb 21, 2012  Hobbyist Digital Artist
:D Thank you! It was difficult not accidentally initiating a romance between the ME2 choices. I had to break it off with both Garrus and Jacob twice. It seems like even just being nice to them will spur it.

And I too am super excited for it! 2 weeks <3
Reply
:iconavelineh:
Avelineh Featured By Owner Feb 21, 2012  Hobbyist Digital Artist
I wanted to try out Garrus but for that playthrough I actually had a Shepard who saved Ash since they were BFFs so I wouldn't end up cheating on Kaidan. :dummy:

And yeah, it really is kinda hard to avoid initiating romances even though you just try to be nice to them! I really want to find out more about the squad members but sometimes you only get answers out of them if you pursue the romance.. Like I really would've wanted to find out more about Thane and his memories and stuff but once I cut it off he never spoke of it again. *shrug*

And two more weeks is too loooong! But definitely worth waiting. :la:
Reply
:iconpickerupper:
Pickerupper Featured By Owner Feb 21, 2012  Hobbyist Digital Artist
I know right? It's like no one is interested in Shep unless she's trying to get into their pants... well... I guess they are MEN after all lol.
Reply
:iconavelineh:
Avelineh Featured By Owner Feb 21, 2012  Hobbyist Digital Artist
I know, right? I haven't tried a male Shepard so I don't know if it's like that for them as well when he tries to get to know the females. I mean as a female Shepard the female squad members still tell a lot about themselves, like Miranda keeps (constantly) telling about her modifications and about her sister eventually. Tali tells about how she trusts Shepard with all her heart. Jack tells about all the things she did and how Cerberus treated her. But if you try to get to know the guys you're always god damn flirting when you try to get to know them! I mean I'm usually really bothered when you try to talk to Jacob.. Shepard's way of saying "I'm more interested in just talking for a bit.." sounds always soooo hinting! D:
Reply
:iconpickerupper:
Pickerupper Featured By Owner Feb 21, 2012  Hobbyist Digital Artist
Everything between Shep and Jacob is basically flirting. It was... awkward to say the least. And I haven't played a M!Shep either so I have no idea.
Reply
:iconavelineh:
Avelineh Featured By Owner Feb 21, 2012  Hobbyist Digital Artist
Jacob is such a flirt. I really found it awkward when I didn't try to flirt with him and he has comments like "We got a nice thing goin' on here, Shepard. You don't wanna push it!" or something along those lines.. I'M NOT INTERESTED IN YOU, JACOB. REALISE THAT. :D

But yeah, can't wait for Mass Effect 3. Everyone's been talking how you get a "big reward" if you stayed true to Kaidan through Mass Effect 2. I can't wait anymore to find out what it is! All anyone can do right now is speculating.
Reply
:iconpickerupper:
Pickerupper Featured By Owner Feb 21, 2012  Hobbyist Digital Artist
All the talk of 'rewards' makes me giggle like a little school girl. No lie. Kaidan wasn't ever really big into the whole "Take me Sheppy baby" thing in ME1, but who knows, his letter DID say he'd changed A LOT since she died. Maybe he became an epic-sexy hottie who will flaunt the goods for Shep <3

We can only hope, right?
Reply
(2 Replies)
:iconamethyststar94:
AmethystStar94 Featured By Owner Feb 20, 2012
Love it, both the story and pic.
Great job. =)
Reply
:iconpickerupper:
Pickerupper Featured By Owner Feb 20, 2012  Hobbyist Digital Artist
Thank you! :hug:
Reply
:icondelphirose:
DelphiRose Featured By Owner Feb 19, 2012
:squee: It's amazing!!!!!!

On a sadder note... :cries:
That story is so sad and heart wrenching. It makes the already powerful image even more poignant.
Reply
:iconpickerupper:
Pickerupper Featured By Owner Feb 19, 2012  Hobbyist Digital Artist
Thank you! One of my lovely watchers was kind enough to write it for the picture.
Believe it or not, I was very sad working on this picture. Lots of sad music and darkness. It helped for the mood. So I understand your hurt :(
Reply
:icondelphirose:
DelphiRose Featured By Owner Feb 19, 2012
:clap: You portrayed the feeling wonderfully.
Reply
:iconpickerupper:
Pickerupper Featured By Owner Feb 19, 2012  Hobbyist Digital Artist
Well thank you :D
Reply
:iconvideogamernerd:
VideoGamerNerd Featured By Owner Feb 19, 2012  Hobbyist Writer
Wonderful!
Reply
:iconpickerupper:
Pickerupper Featured By Owner Feb 19, 2012  Hobbyist Digital Artist
Thank you!
Reply
:iconhelenahelenova:
HelenaHelenova Featured By Owner Feb 19, 2012
When I saw the lines for this for the first time, I remember just being blown away by his face. You can really feel all of the emotion and anguish, just incredible . :D
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