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ARCHIVING: Only with the permission of the author.

The One
By Firedancer


I sense there's something in the wind
That feels like tragedy's at hand
And though I'd like to stand by him
Can't shake this feeling that I have
The worst is just around the bend

And does he notice, my feeling for him
And will he see, how much he means to me
I think it's not to be

What will become of my dear friend
Where will his action lead us then
Although I'd like to join the crowd
In their enthusiastic cloud
Try as I may it doesn't last

And will we ever, end up together
And will we ever, end up together
No I think not, it's never to become
For I am not the one

~Sally's Song~

From Nightmare Before Christmas


As I check over my weapons, I can't shake the feeling that has been with me since I stepped out fo my sleeper pod.

"You good to go Chief?" Shepard asks me. She has that look in her eye that get me every time. We are about to drop into yet another dangerous situation and she gets off on it as much as I do…probably even more.

Most of the others don't understand it. Wrex does. I think that's why of all the crew he only chats with us. Because we revel in the battle rush that settles in the moment we engage in a firefight. Because neither of us hesitate in pulling the trigger or rushing forward to take care of an enemy personally because it's much more satisfying. I'll admit we are both a little reckless at times, but we know what we are doing and we fight well together.

"Locked and loaded Commander," I answer back with nod and a cocky grin. She smirks, and then looks away.

My grin fades as soon as she looks away. We've been on dozens of these missions now. I have followed my Commander into battle every time no questions asked. I find it ironic that she protested my transfer to this crew in the beginning, only to be the only crewmember she's taken on every single mission. When I found out Captain Anderson was forced to retire and Shepard had been given control of our ship and crew, I thought for sure I was going to be left on the Citadel.

But I didn't give her enough credit. Shepard is a tough Commander, but she's one of the fairest I've served under. She made it clear that we were to get over any issues we might have working with the aliens who have stuck with us this entire time. She may resent the Council and their biased opinion of humans, but she didn't let any petty prejudices cloud her goals or judgment. Wrex, Garrus, Tali and Dr. T'Soni have more than proven that they are willing to help see this thing through to the end and have proven their worth time and again to all of us.

Shepard saw their potential from the start and I have to admit that even I've formed a tentative friendship with all of them. I certainly have a lot of respect for them now…..especially Dr. T'Soni. I don't think I could have gone up against my mother like that, and not come out of that fucked up situation a basket case. I've seen how protective Shepard has been of the Asari since then, and I know that there is more going on to that than the Commander will ever admit to.

I'm just glad Dr. T'Soni isn't going down with us this time. I have learned to trust my gut, and it hasn't let me down once yet. The day Eden Prime was attacked, I had woken up with an uneasy feeling. Maybe that's why I had been so vigilant that day. Maybe it's the reason why I was the only one from my entire squad to survive.

Right now though, my instinct is telling me that something very bad is going to happen today. I have a feeling that I may not live to see the end of this day, but I push that aside and focus on the mission at hand. I will follow Shepard in Hell itself if she asked. And I don't think she'll ever know why. Every single member of this crew would lay down their life for this mission because she has garnered that much loyalty from each one of us.

My feelings run much, much deeper than loyalty however. It was something I struggled with for quite some time. She is my CO, not to mention the hardest and most private woman I have ever met. I know a lot of that has to do with her past. Hell I was surprised she'd even opened up as much as she did to me that one morning while I was cleaning everyone's weapons. But I have felt this inexorable pull towards her from the start and that morning, when we both talked about the demons in our past, and she didn't reject me like everyone else had, I felt something I hadn't felt in a very long time. I knew it was wrong and improper, and I've pushed my feelings deep down most of this mission. Especially now that I can see that there is something brewing just below the surface of her friendship with Dr. T'Soni.

But a part of me has hoped that I am being paranoid. It hopes that Shepard will notice me instead. That she would be renegade enough to return my feelings, despite protocol.

Who am I kidding thought right? I see Dr. T'Soni walk over and exchange a few quiet words with Shepard before she and I head down to where Garrus is waiting for us in the Mako. I see the Commander's face soften, hear the warm concern in her voice as she asks Liara how she is holding up. I see their hands clasp briefly, and know that I am not the one.

I catch the Commander's eye and silently let her know I'll head down to the Mako and let her have this last moment of privacy. She nods, and I can see the genuine gratitude in her expression. My heart breaks a little bit more, but my soldier's mask is firmly in place and I shove my feelings back into the box inside my heart.

Today's battle is going to be fierce. No matter what, Shepard will always be my priority. She is the only one who has a chance of stopping Saren from unleashing whatever evil he is planning. If I'm going to die, then it needs to be worth it…not because I was distracted and got careless. As much as I want to be together with her, I don't want it to be in death.

If someone is to die today, then I will be the one.

The End

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