“I guess being dead couldn’t keep me down for the count, almost like the Commander,” Ashley said, letting a small chuckle out. She looked at him, study the features that were so familiar at one point. It was euphoric, seeing someone she cared about alive, standing right in front of her. Jokingly tapping him with the butt of her rifle, Ashley said, “Go ahead and give me a hug, I think I’ll let it slide just this time. I’m…I’m happy to see you, Kaidan. I…” She couldn’t find the words, all she wanted to do was to be sure he was real.
Ash dropped her rifle, wanting to hug him. Wrapping her arms around him, all she wanted to do was to put Virmire at the back of her mind, even if it were for a little while. She didn’t want him feeling guilty about what happened. Just relax, he’s real. You’re not going crazy just yet, she thought slowly, reassuring herself. Pulling away, Ashley looked at him, still trying to find her words.
“I never figured you to be one to go out easy. I’m glad even a nuke couldn’t stop you.” Kaidan smiled when he heard the clank of her rifle against his armor. It was like she was just a long lost friend, not someone who he thought died. It surprised him even more to watch her drop the rifle to wrap her arms around him before he even had the chance to drop his own weapon. Still he wrapped his own arms around Ashley, he never expected to hear her at a loss for words, “I know Ash. I’m happy to see you too. It feels like there’s one thing left of the past I can hold onto again.”
When they pulled away from each other, Kaidan looked over Ashley and her new appearance. A few years changed both of them, “Never expected to see you out of that white and pink armor or without your hair up.” He paused, “You look good.”
"Hey, I had to grow up a little bit, right? I don’t think anyone would have taken me seriously in pink and white armor." Ashley said, doing a small twirl. She laughed as she twirled, finally feeling comfortable. "You don’t look too bad yourself. Glad to see you out of that black armor that looked a little like a jumpsuit." Chuckling, she tapped his arm with a closed fist. It felt natural to be around Kaidan again, relaxing even.
When Kaidan mentioned the nuke, Ashley tried to hold back the memory…the white light she narrowly escaped. Trying to keep her cool, holding herself up as best as she could. Ashley hoped her face didn’t reveal what was going through her head, she didn’t know if she could open up just yet. It was Kaidan, if anything Ashley thought she could let him in to the struggle she had with herself. Looking at him, putting on the best smile she could, Ashley began to change the subject. “Did you hear that the Commander wants to see everyone at a bar over near Piccadilly? It’s going to be some kind of reunion, and I think I owe you a drink.”
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