So, in a day filled with bullshit, I decided to think some happy thoughts. Naturally, my mind immediately went to video games. This time it went to a favorite of mime, Mass Effect. I began to think of my three favorite characters, Commander Shepard, James Vega, and Kaidan Alenko. I then began to think about what their friendships or relationships would’ve been like if two certain people had switched places.
What if it was Commander James Vega and Lieutenant Jane Shepard?
What if James was the Earthborn soldier who had to suffer through the hell that was Akuze? What if he got that N7 tattoo on his back after he got the certification but before he was stationed on the Normanday? What if James was the one Nihlus was shadowing, watching to see if he was Spectre material? What if it was James who met Ashley on Eden prime, and he was the one who pulled Kaidan away from the beacon? What if James was the one who had to decide who to save on Virmire?
Can you imagine if Kaidan had that crush on Vega first? If he gave that cute little smile to Vega every time he came over to talk? Can you imagine Kaidan opening up to Vega, telling him about his past and what happened with Rahna all because he can’t quite say the words “I like you” but he really wants Vega to know how much he cares? Can you imagine, after everything’s gone to hell and the Council has all but fucked them over, Kaidan standing with Vega trying to comfort him and tell him everything is gonna be ok but not quite managing it? Can you imagine Kaidan and James almost sharing their first kiss but Joker interrupting them? Can you imagine Kaidan and Vega not realizing how bad they had it for each other until the night before Ilos?
What if it was James who pulled Joker out of that cockpit but ended up dying over Alchera? What if Kaidan spent two years morning Vega’s death?
What if Vega was the one resurrected by Cerberus and had to deal with the implications of that? What if Vega’s first stop after “waking up”, meeting with The Illusive Jackass, and getting a shiny new Normandy was the Citadel to see Anderson? What if he was the one who grudgingly took that Spectre position back and then immediately asked Anderson where Kaidan was? What if Vega was the one who had to deal with being stonewalled? What if he was the one looking in the mirror everyday at the scars that would never quite close because he couldn’t fully take Karin’s advice and “think positive?”
What if Kaidan and James were the ones who met on Horizon? Their meeting was tense and loaded, neither one really knew what to say or how to feel so they both stumbled over their words and ended up saying things neither one of them really meant. What if, days later, Kaidan knew he fucked up and tried to send Vega a vid message in an attempt to fix things? What if, after viewing the message for the fifth time in a row, Vega breaks down at his desk because he’s still totally in love with Kaidan but still doesn’t know what to say to him or if he should say anything at all?
What if Kaidan’s heart stops when he hears about an “unknown ship” going through the Omega 4 relay and it seemingly doesn’t start beating again until news comes that, miraculously, that shame ship made it back?
While repairs are happening, Hackett comes to Vega with a special request. It’s a mission that should be easy; go in, get the doctor, get out. It turns out to be anything but simple. What if Vega had to make the decision to destroy that relay, killing those Batarians?
Somewhere on Omega, Lieutenant Shepard is at a poker table trying her hardest to drink and gamble away her memories of Fehl Prime. When a news report about Vega’s latest exploits comes on the tv, she uses her biotics to rip if off the wall. That leads to her getting in a fight with a couple of armed Batarians, jumping through a second story window, flaring her biotics at just the right time so she doesn’t break a leg (but she does sprain her wrist), and getting cornered only to have Anderson save her ass at just the right time. What if Vega and Shepard met on the Normandy when Anderson introduced her as Vega’s new bodyguard?
What if, after five months of guarding him and getting to know each other while in Vancouver, Vega decides to give Shepard a nickname because her name is just so bland and Jane doesn’t fit her at all so he calls her Lola. She smirks and decides that if she’s getting a nickname, so is he so she calls him Loco. What if he can’t do a damn thing but laugh because that is the very first time someone decided to give him a nickname?
What if, after six months of being cooped up together on Earth, they both realize they like each other a little more than they’re “supposed” to? All of that comes crashing to a halt though when the Reapers decide to make their appearance and blow Vancouver HQ to hell. What if Shepard was the one to intervene when Kaidan started acting an ass about Cerberus on Mars? What if she crashed the shuttle and had to watch as that thing beat the hell out of the Major and Vega killed it while looking like he ad his heart ripped from his chest? What if Shepard was the one to make sure he went to Huerta first? The Council could wait a few minutes.
While Kaidan was in Huerta, Shepard popped in to check on him a couple of times. The first time she came in he was still out cold. The bruises looked ugly, but that at least meant they were healing. The second time she came he was up and looking a bit better. Kaidan was curious about why she came but not angry. She explained that seeing him get wrecked like that on Mars, and seeing how much it hurt Vega, kinda messed her up. She just had to check to make sure he was ok, for his sake and for Vega’s. They talked for quite a bit about the safer topics, funny mission stories and the like, but before she left Kaidan made her promise she’s update him on Vega’s real status. They both knew Vega didn’t want anyone worrying about him and would downplay any injuries or emotional pain. She promised to be his Super Secret Normandy Spy. What if that was how Kaidan and Shepard got to know each other?
While Kaidan was recovering, Shepard and Vega still went on missions but Shepard would make sure to drop Kaidan an update about how Vega was really doing. Over time, the updates about Vega got shorter and the conversations about themselves got longer. Whenever the stopped at the Citadel, James’s first stop was Huerta. On the Normandy, Shepard and Vega had a standing poker night and regularly sparred in the cargo bay. Day by day, in their own little ways, they grew closer.
What if, when Cerberus attacked the Citadel, Kaidan didn’t hesitate to shoot Udina when Vega told the truth about what happened? He made the mistake of not trusting Vega once, he wasn’t going to do it again. Having Shepard there backing him up definitely helped things. He hadn’t known her long and they’d mostly only spoke through messages, but he was a damn good judge of character and he knew he could trust her.
Vega deciding to bring Kaidan back on the Normandy after that was a no brainer. The standing poker night between Vega and Shepard became a standing poker night between Vega, Shepard, and Kaidan. He came down regularly to watch the sparring sessions between Vega and Shepard. He’d never tell them, but he thought it was sexy as hell watching those two get worked up. They’d never admit it to him, but seeing him lean against Shepard’s workbench with that sexy little smirk on his face is part of what got them so worked up.
What if, when they finally fully came together, it was a very happy accident? They had moved their poker night from the lounge to Vega’s cabin. They don’t exactly remember why and in the end it didn’t matter. After two shots of tequila, the game of poker became strip poker. After another shot, Kaidan finally said “fuck it” and broached the topic they’d been dancing around for a while. It turns out they had spent some time discussing their feelings about Shepard. They both had feelings for her and they definitely both wanted her. They also knew that if they were to go down this route, they didn’t want it to be just sex and they definitely didn’t want to break up and “compete” for her. The only thing to do was talk to Shepard and see where she stood.
What if Shepard said yes to a date and seeing where their new arrangement(?)/relationship(?) went?