in any other world
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Mass Effect: Andromeda
Male Ryder | Scott
Additional Tags:
Past Relationship(s), past Male Ryder | Scott/Reyes Vidal, Introspection, Moral Dilemmas, MERweek2021
Part 3 of MERweek2021
Published: 2021-09-22 Words: 797 Chapters: 1/1

in any other world


Ryder muses on his past with Reyes Vidal.


Entry for Day 3 of the 5th annual Mass Effect Relationships week

Prompt: missed opportunities.
Describe or draw a relationship that could have been. What kept them apart? Do they regret it or are they happy the way things turned out?

T rated for mentions of executions.

in any other world

Ryder doesn‘t like returning to Kadara. The planet itself is nice enough, especially now that the vaults are cleaning the atmosphere and the sulfuric smell slowly recedes. The cave systems are interesting in and on themselves and Ryder enjoys the ragged mountain landscape. Not as nice as the floating rocks of Ryder-1, but he likes his landscape to have a bit of a vertical structure to it. Now that the Kadara outpost is well established, the planet should be a welcome stop to buy the less common machine parts Gil needs from time to time.

It should, but it isn‘t, and that‘s mostly to do with how the apparent peace came to be. The heads on spikes when you enter Kadara port speak a language Ryder doesn‘t like and any time he sees them, he is met with the same old feeling of resentment and regret he feels since that time.

Executing people is not right. This is what it comes down to when he thinks about it. In that moment back then, that‘s what powered his split-second decision. Reyes didn‘t want to fight Kelly – it was an execution, and Ryder couldn‘t let that happen. It was unfair and of course, when he thinks a bit more about the whole situation, his personal impressions of fairness should not have governed his decision. He should have thought about what was best for the people on the planet, for the Angara, for the Initiative, for the outpost, for Kadara port.

Kelly executes people out in the open, as a warning. Reyes executed people in the shadows, secretly, as a problem to be dealt with. Perhaps it isn‘t just about fairness or unfairness. Perhaps it is that Ryder prefers the light over the shadows, openness over secrecy, and Reyes‘ way of doing things was never going to work with his ways. Perhaps. But Reyes financed the free clinic, Reyes had a vision for Kadara port. He had plans that could have actually worked. Although Ryder isn‘t naive enough anymore to make himself believe that Reyes would have stopped dealing with problems by executing the people he thought responsible for it. Now, it happens in broad daylight instead. At least it‘s not a secret, and Kelly is a known entity.

That‘s what Ryder tells himself when he thinks back to those days. Back to making out in the storage room during Kelly‘s party. To whisky and kisses shared on Kadara rooftops.

It feels like a distant dream. Reyes swept him away, there‘s no beating around the bush on that. It doesn‘t feel like the rest of his life in Andromeda, because it isn‘t the same, not really. He wasn‘t the same.

There was something to Reyes that intrigued Ryder, that made him push his boundaries, that made him feel like he could be anyone, do anything. Together, they could have shaped dreams into reality, dreams Ryder hadn‘t known he had. Has, perhaps. He‘s not so sure about that.

It felt like magic when it happened, like he imagines jumping down a cliff and trusting only his jetpack and quick reflexes to catch himself in the last possible moment, not that Ryder has ever done that.

They could have built something, but Ryder isn‘t quite sure what that would have been. Reyes has a way of pulling people in. Of making them believe in a dream even though they don‘t know what it looks like.

In any other world, Ryder could have gone with Reyes. But he‘s had the hopes and dreams of every single soul in the Initiative to carry on his shoulders. Their survival, that of the Angara, that of free and independent life in Andromeda. He has ensured that, he‘s more than glad he succeeded.

It would have been easy, letting his feelings for Reyes determine his actions. He missed him a lot, even when there were other things to do, other fights to win. Still does, sometimes. But feelings are not a good way to determine one‘s best plan of action, he knows that when he has more than a split second to think about it. He doesn‘t regret saving Kelly‘s life, every life saved is worth it. But he regrets that he drove Reyes away by doing so, sentenced him to the life of an outcast even from the outcasts.

Ryder knows he and Reyes can‘t be together. Ryder wants to build something: for the Initiative, for the Angara. Reyes wants to build something else: for himself, perhaps, or for people like him, whatever that means. They all have dreams, but they dream of different things and Ryder has made his decision. He knows where he wants to be.

But sometimes, Ryder can‘t help but wonder what it would have looked like, sharing his life with Reyes.


End Notes

Based on my Ryder who‘s very professional and logical, but got swept away in the beginnings of a romantic entanglement with Reyes Vidal which ended when Ryder saved Sloane Kelly (and let Reyes get away) in High Noon.

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