Her final defiant shout was lost as her world blossomed in beautiful, terrifying, all-consuming light and heat. She heard her flesh sizzling and searing and smelled the acrid stench of it even as she inhaled those hungry flames and felt the terrible intensity of the living fire within her breast. The agony crushed her physically and lit every nerve in hyper-sensitive torment as she felt herself picked up and thrown like so much trash across an endless expanse of forever.
It was her end. Again. Her last moments. Again.
A part of her absently recalled those thoughts of despair from before. Since her resurrection, she spent hours each day living in that memory of the woman who should be dead. They haunted her soul shadowing every act in her life with a reminder of impermanence, wrongness, time stolen and the cold touch of death on her heart.
The certainty of death while she drifted away from the Normandy as it consumed itself in fire and fell toward the planet below did not frighten her. Her desperate search for anything she could latch onto and maybe reverse her fall was not for herself. It was for another, the one she failed. The unbearable pang of guilt was only broken by quixotic glimpses of impossibly blue eyes, crushingly soft lips, and hauntingly tender caresses. Her single love, passion, and regret.
With a final bone crushing impact, her body came to rest against a gray, non-descript, support beam. It was not impressed by her. There, she waited for the end. Her end. Her eyes had been burned to black cinders within their sockets, so she felt rather than saw the power of the Citadel and the Crucible gather above her as it prepared to terminate their destroyers. Bring an end to the omega of countless races. Ensure life for those recently damned.
Her grasp on conscious thought was waning in her final moments of triumph and ultimate bitter defeat when the incredible power finally burst forth on its mission to destroy and rescue. A wry twist ticked up her charred lips as she thought of what Harbinger's last thoughts would be. Part of her thought she could die happy seeing that.
They had won, she knew. Survived against the impossible. Her life was such a small price to pay to ensure the others would live. So her love would live.
As elated as she was for those of the galaxy, her heart wept for the one she loved. The one who brought the light into her heart before and after death. The one who gave her strength, love, compassion and trust when she knew she deserved none. The one who demanded nothing from her, but to whom she gladly surrendered everything to, her heart, her soul, her very being.
She started to drift. The darkness pulled, the exhaustion consuming her being like a voracious predator. The mission was complete, her people were safe. Time to
Then an agonized gasp as she thought again of the hurt she would cause to her only love. The same pain she caused before. Her mind's eye saw the light in that beautiful face crumble as it had after Thessia fell. She could not do that to her again. Not again as she had already. Not again.
She tried to rise, to fight, but could not. Nothing worked. 'Eyes so blue I could drown
' She struggled to move, to shout, but could not. 'Love so deep I wept in her arms
' She tried to breathe
a breath for her
.a breath so hard
oh Goddess, Sarah!" The voice is a whisper in a swirling tempest of agony and exhaustion, an anchor for her soul in an ocean of empty despair.
" She fights to hear, she struggles and listens so hard to hear the sweet caress of her voice.
"Sarah, Goddess, please stay with me
" Must stay and see
"Garrus! Tali! Come quick
"Shepard, I love you." The voice so soft and tangible, so soothing and alluring, so full of pain and heartbreak.
"Sarah, don't you dare leave me
" She claws her way back through her own mind, her very being
must hear her again.
" She's here, without her I'm lost, she's here
must fight to
need her so
and I must stay. Must see her eyes of blue, feel her breath on my cheek, taste her soul in my mind
The darkness takes her, and she falls into a chasm of pain and regret.
She dreams. The nightmares that relentlessly stalk her sleep come to visit and torture her again. Hellish creatures created from the living flesh of normal people. The destruction of an entire species, and the brutal re-purposing of them to fit the sick needs of their conquerors. Friends and loved ones lost because of her inability to save them. Their accusing faces and harsh, condemning words serve as harsh reminders of her failures and the debts her soul owes each. Mother, father, Alenko, Kahoku, Mordin, Legion, Anderson
She feels her spirit start to crumble under the onslaught of terrible, crushing guilt.
Again the light comes for her, and her love comes to save her again as she had so many times before. Visions of the Goddess of her Heart dance like wild-fire through her mind banishing the darkness and driving off the ghosts of her soul. Heart-wrenching joy envelopes her inner self as they make love. Entangled within each other, blended together into one perfect being. There she stays. There she lives. There she clings to hope, love, life.
" Her voice beckons from beyond the shifting veil.
"Sarah, my love
" She reflexively opens eyes that are now storm gray with flecks of lightning blue instead of her old brilliant green, and is surprised she can see hazy shapes in the softly lit room. Gravely, burning pain arches across her newly grown skin as it knits and becomes one with her revitalized, raw nerves, but it is dull and far away compared to the voice.
The smell of rose blossoms brings a loving memory and a small smile to her new, dry lips. "Liara
" she whispers.
"Oh, Goddess, Sarah!" She hears her love exclaim in pure love and relief. And she was suddenly being showered in light kisses as her lover's tears wet her cheeks.
Her eyes focus a bit more and she's captured by those soft pools of blue that pull her back to reality, back to consciousness, back to life.