Ashley Williams

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Insanity Round
Writing (tersa)
tersa wrote in me_challenge
Welcome to the Insanity Round!

In case you're new to the comm, this is just a day of the week where we give you ten prompts, and you pick one to write a drabble on and post it in the comments! (Artwork is welcome too!)

If you'd like to track the activity on today's post, just click on the "track this" link at the bottom.

So read the prompts, write a story, submit a prompt! But most of all, have fun!

[Guidelines]1) Aim for about 100 words. Longer or shorter is okay, just try to keep it in one comment. (note: this is more to give you a guideline than anything. Your drabble can be as long as you want--but we're not looking for a multi-chapter fic here!)

2) Post your drabble as a reply to the comment the prompt is from.

3) Put the prompt you used as the subject. If you just want to comment on something, leave the subject line blank. This will make it easier to navigate once the threads start collapsing.

4) If posting an entry with NSFW content, please warn in subject line and the first line of the fic.

5) After writing your drabble, write down three or more prompts of your own at the end of each reply.

6) Prompts should generally be short, no more than a sentence. Prompts may include characters and/or pairings. In that case, try to also include some word prompt (i.e. Kasumi/Thane, sporks), unless you feel your configuration of characters is exotic enough to be inspiring on its own.

7) The same prompts may be filled multiple times. By the same person, even, if inspiration strikes. No need to hold back!

SPOILER WARNING: The Mass Effect 3 Extended Cut has only been out for two weeks and only one week for Europe. PLEASE make sure to mark anything drawing on the EC with an ME3 EC SPOILER (<B>ME3 EC SPOILER</B>) warning at the top of the entry (since Subject lines are not reliable in LJ any longer)

1. Reasons
2. P.T.
3. I can see for miles and miles
4. Kicking it old school
5. First contact
6. Family name
7. Power bars and energy drinks
8. Rank
9. The magic is gone
10. Envy

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Re: Power bars and energy drinks

Meer does sarcastic renegade VA really well, too. :)

I got an image of Shepard as the food fairy reading this. *snicker*

Edited at 2012-07-11 04:43 pm (UTC)

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I love the idea of Shepard quoting poetry at Ash's death, and you picked a great poem to illustrate it.

He’s become an expert at the patterns of Shepard’s breathing.

When Garrus hears the little hitch, the little break in the rhythm, he knows she’s about to surface from the drug-induced twilight she floats in. He leans forward in his chair and reaches out to slide his hand beneath hers. It’s better for her when she sleeps, the sleep is letting her heal, but in these early days (spirits, let them be early days, let there be so many more to come), he’s living for the moments when her eyes flutter open.

The meds constrict her pupils, pinpoints of black almost lost in a dark brown only a shade lighter. Her gaze swims slowly toward him, too hazy to be confused.

“Hey,” he says. His voice has a rasp from the long hours he spends in silence.

“You’re still here?” she asks. Her voice has a rasp from the long weeks on a respirator.


“You should–” She shifts slightly, and a grunt escapes her. The sound is more annoyed than pained, and he knows she’s really awake, really with him, and not just mumbling in a daydream. “You should get some sleep.”

“That’s what Miranda keeps telling me.”

“She usually knows what she’s talking about.” Her face twists in a grimace, but his heart slows, his concern fades when she adds, “Don’t tell her I said that, though.”

He huffs a laugh. “I won’t.”

“So what’s the problem?”

He studies the hand in his grasp. It’s precious, this hand. It’s the only one she has left, and he guards it while she sleeps.

“Spit it out, Vakarian.”

Sometimes he wonders where her other arm is, what happened to the fingers that caressed his scars that first night before the Omega-4 Relay. Are they reduced to ash, just another pile buried in the rubble of the Citadel? Or is her arm somehow whole somewhere, devoid of life and movement, a partial corpse?

Then he chides himself for being morbid.

“Just making sure you don’t slip off to the bar without me.”

Shepard snorts. “Never. Next time we go, you’re buying.”

The skin of her hand is thin and pliable; when he runs his thumb across it, he creates a ripple, a tiny wave that travels with his thumb from her wrist to her knuckles. His talon traces each joint, and it occurs to him that he now has more total fingers than she does.

“I should warn you, I just lost a lucrative position as a Reaper expert. Someone decided to blow them all up.”

“I’ll consider your job security before I end the next war.” Her knuckles whiten as she curls her fingers around his. “Now get some sleep,” she demands.

Thin blue lines map the path that leads back to her heart. The blood cells that travel her body make more stops than usual, collecting chemicals from the tubes Miranda reminds him not to disturb. His eyes follow the path, past the tubes, past the sleeve of her hospital gown, past the stitched wounds and yellowing bruises, to her half-closed eyes.

“Is that an order, Commander?” he asks.

He’s become an expert at the patterns of Shepard’s breathing. When he hears the sigh on the exhale, the longer beat in the rhythm, he knows she’s about to drift away from him again.

“You bet your turian ass it is,” she murmurs.

As her eyes flutter closed, he lays her hand back at her side (carefully, or Miranda will threaten to kick him out again). In the first minute of the hours of silence to come, he reminds himself that it’s better for her when she sleeps, the sleep is letting her heal.

He leans back in his chair, his weary body grateful to the turian medics who brought him something to replace the human-designed model he’d found in Shepard’s room. The neck rest flares just right, with room for his cowl and room for his fringe, and he wills himself to relax into it. He closes his eyes.

He’s become an expert at the patterns of Shepard’s breathing. He matches the pattern, inhale to inhale, exhale to exhale, and follows her down to where she goes to heal.
1. once there was a way to get back home
2. you’re gonna carry that weight a long time
3. the love you take is equal to the love you make

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Short and ends abruptly but I'm much too tired to work on it anymore =).


"Jane isn't my real name."

Thane paused in threading his fingers through her hair but didn't speak.

"Shepard isn't either."

Thane continued stroking the dark glossy strands and hummed a deep note. "I see."

Jane shifted restlessly, moving off his chest to stare at the stars through the port above her bed. She didn't know why she had brought it up but now that she had, she wondered if she should tell him. About her childhood, about Jane, about how once she was an angry, hurting kid with a gun and someone to use it on.

Thane had moved and was watching her now, a low soothing sound coming from his throat. She looked up and met his eyes. He was curious, she could tell, but he didn't press her, didn't ask for more than she was ready to give.



An Earthborn Shepard whose name isn't really Shepard? *matching headcanon fistbump*

The vids liked to portray the first touch of destined lovers with slow-motion close-ups, portraying a "spark," or something that lets the viewers know without a shadow of a doubt that these two will end up together by the end of the movie.

In Kaidan Alenko's case, the "spark" was quite literal. When Commander Shepard first walked onto the Normandy and grasped his hand firmly in her own, they both jumped as static electricity arced between them. His embarrassed apology for not grounding himself trailed off as she flared her own biotic aura, so close to him that he felt the hair on his arms stand on end.

"Nice to meet you, Lieutenant," she said, smiling at the surprise evident on his face.

* * *
Kaidan would always remember the first time she touched him outside of the battlefield and professional duties. Curled up into a ball of misery in the medbay as nausea and pain battled for supremacy, he was surprised, but pleased to feel a cool hand smoothing back his hair. It didn't make the pain easier, but just the brief focus on something pleasant through his misery was comforting.

"Thanks, doc," he said in a hoarse voice, unwilling to open his eyes. The hand paused.

"You're welcome," said the unexpected voice of his Commanding officer. Kaidan's eyes popped open and he tried to sit up, wincing, and fumbling through an apology. Firm hands pushed him back down onto the med bay cot.

"I'm not on duty, Alenko," she said in a soft voice, then paused. "If you want me to leave though..."

His hand closed on hers. "Don't."

* * *
First contact. Her mouth was surprisingly soft against his, her body warm and he had the fleeting thought that even through clothes they seemed to fit together. He liked that she was as tall as he was, it made kissing her easier, made reaching around her to fiddle with the hem of her shirt as comfortable as if it was his own. 

And later, much later, when she was laying against him, not sleeping, but both of them just enjoying the temporary peace and companionship, Kaidan hoped that this was a first of many yet to come. 

Wow. I am woefully out of practice at writing drabbles. ;__;

1. So... how bout those Reapers?
2. I need a vacation.
3. Put that thing back where it came from, or so help me!

I love it when people go in a direction with a prompt that I didn't even think of. Each one of these on its own would have been a well-fitting drabble. I think the last is my favorite. :)

I can see for miles and miles

Coats would have quite happily died without ever setting foot inside Big Ben’s tower ever again. Three days in the shadow of a bloody bell, potentially bleeding out as he shot everything that came into range, that had been quite enough, thank you very much.

But Reynolds was right. They needed up to date maps of London to plan the attack which meant they needed to look at the goddamn streets. Big Ben was still standing, it had good views of the areas - better views than it had had before the war, truth be told, there were apparently advantages to Reapers levelling large sections of the city - it was a logical choice.

On the marginally-brighter side, at least he wasn’t stuck up here alone this time.

“How’s the map coming along, kid?” he asked four hours in to their little study group.


“I don’t know what that means.”

“It’s my name, its meaning is irrelevant,” she said. “I just mention it because if you call me ‘kid’ or ‘girl’ one more time, you’re going to find yourself bleeding in a bell tower all over again.”

He couldn’t remember the last time he’d been threatened by a kid half his size and actually believed it. Funny, how this war had changed things. “Message received. So, Addie, how’s the map coming?”

“We’ve got all we can from here.” She flipped the tablet over to show him. “There’s not much more of London left to map at this stage.”

“Good. Shepard could be here any day and we have to ready when she gets here.”

“Shepard’s coming here? Oh my god, why didn’t anyone tell me this?” Addie asked, hauling herself to her feet. She crossed the few feet to the clock face, peering through the gaps in the glass.

“Even for a Brit, that was maybe a little too sarcastic.”

“My apologies. You know, we still don’t have any information about what the Reapers are doing over there,” she said, nodding at the blow glow of whatever-the-hell-it-was off in the distance.

“Fortunately, that is someone else’s problem,” Coats said, picking up his rifle.

“Who the hell else is left?” Addie muttered.

He pretended not to hear that. Troops’ morale was, equally fortunately, someone else’s problem. “It looks pretty clear down there; let’s get back to the others.”

Prompts -
Holy hand-grenade
Word to the wise
Sudden arboreal stop

I loved this even more in the context of the piece you wrote a few weeks ago about Reynolds and his feelings about being "someone else's problem."

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The image of Shepard looking like a dork with his tongue poking out. Lol.

Liara had known that humans looked much like asari, of cause she knew. She had heard about it, seen the pictures, and at first written it off as just one of nature’s funny coincidences.

However, meeting a human for the first time? Quite unsettling.

Doctor Charlston was ever polite, and had been very professional when introduced to her at the Annual Prothean Conference. Yet Liara had been transfixed by the so familiar facial structure, the eyes, the nose, the lips.

It had been hard to keep her thoughts strait. Luckily there had been enough differences she could focus on, and to an extent that she could fuel her unease into interest instead. The hair and the beard, not to mention the flappy ears was very fascinating, and Liara had been able to get through the night without too much discomfort. She had kept the personal questions to herself though, that was what the extranet was for.

Later on she learned of the uncanny valley effect, and concluded that this had been the source of her uneasiness. And at the time she had been pleased that it had not affected her as hard as some of the stories she would read about in the examples.

That was until Therum, that was before she was confronted to the disturbing familiarity of human women.

And now she was living onboard a ship filled with humans.

Oh well, as the old asari proverb went “If you can’t stand them, try to get closer”.

That was the tamer version of it though; Liara was both disgusted and rather tempted by the raunchier one.

Luckily Commander Shepard was quite the fascinating individual.

The Cursed Mummy
The Bloody Rain
The Dying Man

Liara being weirded out over humans isn't an idea I've ever thought of. It's interesting =). Nice job.


"So be it," said the Child in a distinctly non-childlike voice. Turning from her, it shimmered and disappeared, leaving her alone on the platform, facing the three Avenues of Choice.

She grunted with pain as her lifeblood continued to drip steadily from her wounds, and then the heavens above her opened with deadly fire as the might of the Reapers bore down upon collected ranks of the Alliance of the Species. Nightflowers bloomed against the stars as ships exploded into the void, the lives of those within extinguished forever. Alliance guns tore into the Reapers as well, but the scorchings they inflicted grew less with each passing second.

The Shepard watched the display for a moment, her face blank, and then brought up her omni-tool. She keyed in a quick message and sent it off. The orange glow remained, however, and she looked up to see the fiery burst of a dreadnought above her. Detritus hurtled towards her unshielded platform. The Shepard closed her eyes.


Back on the Ship of Normandy, the Major's omni-tool pinged. Distracted from his station of battle, he glanced down to see the Final Message of the Shepard. I failed. I love you. He gripped his station, appendages whitening, and turned to the Joking Pilot.

"She's gone. Do what needs to be done."

The Pilot looked at him quizzically. "Are you sure?"

He nodded. "Do it."

Shrugging, the Pilot complied. The Ship of Normandy veered into the field of battle, her main gun firing. The Major shuddered with each blast, watching as the ranks of ships around him disintegrated.

The Ship of Normandy centred on a Reaper, the largest in their vicinity, and it turned to face them. Its position changed, revealing its underbody cannon, and the Major clenched his jaw.

"Fire," he said, and the forward screen exploded in a field of ruby light.

The Professor looked up from her reading of The Deeds of The Shepard, an overblown dramatisation of the hero's life, popular at the time of its first release some one hundred or more solar cycles ago. The class before her displayed varying degrees of attentiveness, as was to be expected in a room full of teenagers, from outright boredom to an occasional tear from highly emotional girls. She stood up.

"That's enough for today. For tonight's task, please complete a précis on the decisions The Shepard faced at the Avenues of Choice, why you feel she rejected them, and how we have benefited from this today."

A chime sounded in the room and the class began to stand. She raised her voice. "No less than one thousand words! On my desk, start of next class."

Students grumbled as they left, and she sighed, sitting down again. She raised a hand to her head and smoothed away a tension spot. Would they be ready?

She turned to face the great clock that dominated the sunward wall of the room, mandatory in all rooms at the Academy of the Shepard. Its numbers counted down: steadily, inexorably. Barely five hundred day cycles until the Return of the Reapers.

They had to be ready. This class would be the vanguard, the first wave of offence against the invasion.

"Shepard help us all," the Professor muttered, and got back to grading essays.

~ Only mostly dead.
~ Brute Squad.
~ You keep saying that word. I do not think it means what you think it means.

Interesting. Personally, I'm not a fan of the whole 'the Shepard' thing but I liked what you wrote =). Nice job.

Power Bars and Energy Drinks

My Shep loves peanut butter. It is my head canon. I knew exactly which one I was gonna grab.

"Don't need a protein bar. I like peanut butter."

Joker eyed Shepard oddly as she shoved the spoon full of peanut butter in her mouth.

"Do ... do you do that often?"

She pulled the spoon out of her mouth, and rolled the peanut butter around a bit in her mouth before swallowing. "You kidding? This is my favorite snack."

He looked at her cockeyed.

"What? I don't double dip."

"Wouldn't a protein bar be better for you?"

She shrugged. "Probably? But there's something about a spoon full of peanut butter. It just ... I don't know, tastes better. I'll get you a clean spoon if you want --"

"You know? I'm good."


1. Animals on the Normandy
2. Girly time
3. Arguing

This made me chuckle =). Shepard is kinda reminding me of my dog in this lol.

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