[size13[font "Segoe Print" I'm a huge fan of the Mass Effect trilogy and I've already started writing a fan fic for fem Shepard and Garrus but I'm starting to struggle a little and would love for someone to help me out.]]
[size13[font "Segoe Print" It's been 10 years since the events of Mass Effect 3 have taken place, Shepard survived the reaper explosion at the very end of the game. But instead of returning to the Citadel she decided to remain dead and live a 'normal' life on a human planet called Neria. It was a basic planet and not really kept on the council radar. A simple trading planet. Shepard hasn't been to the citadel since the mission and now she must fly there as the regular pilot has injured himself.]]
[size13[font "Segoe Print" Thinking it was going to be a quick drop off and wanting to wait in the ship she finds herself in a hallway next to customs waiting for the ship to be unloaded. ]]
[size13[font "Segoe Print" I will go into more details if anyone is interested this is just a basic opening, as I said this is a fan fiction and would just like some ideas thrown at me lol. I would be playing Shepard as it's mainly from her point of view.]]
[size13[font "Segoe Print" Please no time wasters as this is special to me. Would preferably like someone who has finished the games or basically knows what happened.]]
[size13[font "Segoe Print" I also like something to work with. So I would need another writer who is happy to do 1500+ characters.]]
[size13[font "Segoe Print" I also understand not posting everyday, I can't do it myself. Once a week or even 2 weeks is fine. Any longer then please let me know, I hate it when people drop threads without telling me and I'm left waiting. But other than that it will be lots of fun and I love twists! So any ideas throw them my way!"
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While traveling Garrus lounged in the pilot’s chair, an internal debate inside his head: how to land on the planet.
The most direct route would involve crashing into Nera, but that was where all the advantages of that path ended. A crash landing did not make for an impressive, in the good way, first impression; seeing as the planet did not receive visitors, a first impression had even higher meaning. The other problem with attempting a crash landing was the probability of being blasted out of the sky by a cannon, if they deemed the risk of a foreign object crashing high enough. And Garrus preferred not dying in dumb ways.
Another way involved setting up an accident to the ship and using that as an excuse so he could land. The problem with this plan came from inside Garrus. While the ship might not have been the best quality, it still was decent and in a way a gift from Liara; he had not the heart for breaking anything on this ship.
That left only one remaining option, the most safest but also an uncomfortable one; hailing the planet and asking permission to land. Garrus was weak when it came towards introductions, heavily relying on others. It has been that way with missions, in the Turian military academy, or just being recognized because of being part of the Normandy crew.
A synthetic voice broke through his skull and into his brain, notifying of slipping out of hyperspace and steadily approaching Nera. [+blue “Once we’re close enough, hail them with a request to land on their planet”], as he stood up and stretched.
Here, went, nothing.
[size13[font "Sitka Text" Holding the bottle in her hand Shepard practically ripped off the top, she poured the Whiskey Garrus had given her into a glass and knocked back the first shot. Clenching her teeth a little she leaned back resting her back against the chair. Moving her fingers up and down the glass she thought over what happened today. In fact so much had happened Shepard was finding it hard processing it all.]]
[size13[font "Sitka Text" Helping herself to another glass it was drank much slower the second time around, it wouldn't do anyone any good if she got too drunk to wake up in the morning as much as she wanted to. The plan was to drink to stop her mind from racing and to forget about meeting Garrus for a few hours. If she knew him well enough like she thought she did, Shepard knew Garrus wasn't about to just let her walk away.]]
[size13[font "Sitka Text" Breathing out a heavy sigh she changed her mind and knocked it back, feeling the warmth surround her body she closed her eyes. She'd always felt watched here being an 'outsider' but after all the shit that happened with Daniel and Joe today he was going to make sure she would be watched like a hawk, give her petty jobs so she wouldn't be left alone. Then her mind flashed to Daniel, Joe wanted a few words and Shepard just hoped he wouldn't be too harsh with Daniel. He was seen as a friend and the guy that saved her ass today from being exiled.]]
[size13[font "Sitka Text" Staring at the whiskey bottle made her smile. Her old team she missed more than anything, they were like a family and it killed her everyday knowing she couldn't visit or even call them. Liara and Tali she missed most of all, they were good friends and no matter what decision Shepard made supported her 100%. They would have gone to hell for her and she would have done exactly the same.]]
[size13[i[font "Sitka Text" The next Day....]]]
[size13[font "Sitka Text" Grabbing her head Shepard groaned, she'd finished the bottle and fell asleep at her desk. Glancing at the time she breathed a sigh of relief. All those early risings paid off, the body clock was set. Dragging herself to the bathroom she quickly showered and made her way over to the offices to see what bullshit job she was going to be given.]]
[size13[font "Sitka Text" Listening to everyone say their good mornings only made Shepard's headache worse but she put on a front and smiled returning the greetings. Low and behold like a king Joe appeared with a datapad. As he read out the names a smile appeared on her face, just as she'd predicted she'd been given one of the lesser jobs 'warehouse duty' which basically meant she was to stand around all day and watch people coming in and out of the warehouse. It was definitely the worst job she'd ever had.]]
The laughter diminished to a silence which lasted mere seconds before Liara asked another question, [+purple “Where?”]. Garrus raised his head, his body leaning backwards into the depths of the chair. The arms dissembled and lay resting against the couch. Liara’s tone suggested an answer wasn’t required, more so she asked out of curiosity. Opening his mouth, deciding if Liara couldn’t find Shepard on any planet then the planet’s name didn’t matter, first letting of a sigh, [+blue “A small planet called Nera. As I understand they do business with the Alliance but otherwise an insignificant, self-sufficient planet.”] Liara permitted herself a short chuckle, [+purple “Someone doesn’t think its insignificant if they’re asking you to go there.”] Garrus returned Liara’s chuckle with a slightly more linger and hearty one, followed by a relaxed shoulder shrugged. [+blue “At least it will be done right.”]
Standing up, Garrus bowed his head tomorrow. [+blue “I’ll get going for now. If you manage to find a ship, you know how to contact me.”] Liara also stood up, an upward nod of her head. [+purple “Don’t get killed now”.] Garrus shook his head with an amused expression, [+blue “After surviving all I have, it will have to be something worse than a Reaper to end my life.”] The two parted with a short, friendly hug.
The rest of the day and night passed in a sort of haze. The victory celebration was another spectacular display along with speeches by important officials. But it felt off. Part of this celebration included morning the death of Commander Shepard, except Shepard was not dead. And he was the singular creature in this galaxy, besides Shepard, aware of that fact. While Garrus partially understood running away from the glory, he didn’t think Shepard’s approach the correct one. Why not make a public statement about retiring towards some quiet place on a quiet planet and just ask not to be bothered? Why attempt in hiding a part of yourself from yourself, it’d be another burden forced to be carried everywhere.
Those sorts of [i why] questions slipped away with the appearance of alcohol, camaraderie, and festivity. Some of the Turians aboard the Citadel were soldiers from the classes he taught, and Garrus could not but help himself in regaling in a few war stories along with student-teacher jokes; good that they could look back on their training and joke about his no-nonsense, hardass approach.
Running into nobody else, not even from the Normandy crew, Garrus retired somewhere he knew where he’d sleep of the day and the late-night drinking.
The next day, nothing new happened at first. A slow awakening as everyone, one-by-one, rose from their slumbers and relit the festive torch. It was about midday, while sitting at a bar Garrus felt a two in his shoulder. Swiveling around in the chair, he became delightfully surprised. [+blue “What being you out here?”] He stood up, Liara having no inclination in sitting down. With a wave of her arm she walked off. He followed.
She led him all the way back to her private room. Whatever she wanted to say, only in complete privacy. Once inside, [+purple “I found a ship for you. It’s a bit of an old human vessel, but it’ll get you to where you need.”] Garrus smiled gratefully smiled, [+blue “I don’t even know how to thank you.”] Liara’s response in the form which bay and hanger the ship was located told Garrus nothing more needed saying.
Before flying out , Garrus walked back to Th e C-Sec offices. Finding Bailey, Garrus confirmed he could fly out. He only had about two hours until the re-enactment of the space battle began.
Then after finding the ship provided by Liara, Garrus simply went in and left the Citadel. The ship did come with a VI, nothing near what EDI was, but it would be enough to jump from here to Nera.
The Citadel grew incrementally smaller while approaching the mass relay. With his weapons loaded, incredible instincts, Garrus felt confident in dealing with any threat on Nera. He wasn’t traveling there to pick up Shepard, more to scope the planet out. Near the mass relay , Garrus sat down from pacing the cabin.
A few seconds later of blinding light and the ship jumped across galaxies towards Nera.
[size13[font "Sitka Text" What seemed to feel like an eternity, Shepard felt as though the ground was wearing down underneath her from the amount of times she had paced the hallway impatiently. Getting frustrated with herself she took her seat sitting back and crossing her arms. Her mind was racing with multiple thoughts. Technically Neria wasn't under Alliance rules which meant that Joe was judge, jury and executioner. If Daniel couldn't defend her well enough to please Joe he could easily have Shepard executed.]]
[size13[font "Sitka Text" If this was the case a few days ago Shepard wouldn't have minded so much, she felt as though she'd escaped death enough times and it got to the point where she welcomed it... However things had changed now, she'd seen Garrus again and he knew she was alive. Garrus wasn't stupid he would find out information on Neria and it wouldn't surprise Shepard in the slightest if he tried to come and see her.]]
[size13[font "Sitka Text" This was the problem, she wasn't worried for her own life it was Garrus' although he was one of the best soldiers she'd ever seen there's no way he would be able to fight off the colony on Joe's orders. She didn't want things to end in a bloodbath and Garrus wouldn't be as prepared as he would be for a mission, why would he need to be? A simple human colony of 100 people that looked after Shepard? There would be no threat.]]
[size13[font "Sitka Text" As Shepard was beginning to feel the panic in her thoughts the door opened and Daniel stood in front of her, Shepard looked up trying to read his facial expressions but he wasn't giving anything away. Great she was already nervous enough the least he could have given her was some kind of idea. Standing up she followed Daniels gesture into the room as she sat down on one of the two chairs in front of Joe's desk.]]
[size13[font "Sitka Text" The expression on Joe's face wasn't helping to settle her nerves, she wasn't exactly sure what he was the most pissed about, that she in love with a Turian or that she'd lied to him for the past 10 years, the thought almost made her smile but she new this wasn't the time to be telling jokes to herself. Keeping a poker face herself she looked up at Joe.]]
[size13[#8B4513[font "Sitka Text" Jane... After a discussion with Daniel who seems to be very much in favour of you staying I might say. At the end of the day I'm still the one to make the final decision on the outcome from your crime. As you know this is a very serious offence if the Citadel or even the Alliance were to find out your true identity. You have done exceedingly well to have kept it hidden for this long and I presume if things hadn't gone wrong at the Citadel and you running into the Turian you would have continued to live as Clare Williams. You have clearly stated your old life is behind you and you don't wish to return to it. Due to this reason and this reason alone I have decided to clear your charge and let you continue to live with us on Neria and your true identity will only be known to the three of us and us alone".]]
[size13[font "Sitka Text" Hearing the bullshit that poured out of his mouth acting as though he was a council member and he alone was able to decide her fate was absolutely ridiculous to her. But this was Neria and they did things differently and Shepard at this moment in time was feeling a huge wave of relief, she felt herself relax as she stood up placing her hands behind her back.]] [size13[#FF0000[font "Sitka Text" "Thank you Joe, I know this has put you in a very difficult position but I can't thank you enough for your decision you've saved me a lot of trouble, I promise there will be no more trouble from now on".]]]
[size13[font "Sitka Text" Joe said nothing else and this was Shepard's time to leave, turning to look at Daniel Joe had asked him to remain behind for some words in private, Shepard gave him a faint smile knowing that he would be taking some responsibility for the trouble caused on the Citadel and most likely for defending her as much as she did, she owed him one. As Shepard made her way back to her room there was a worrying thought at the back of her head, Garrus. Joe didn't know that he knew her true identity, no one did. What happend in the room was private, not even Daniel knew. Something was going to happen soon she just hoped he wouldn't come here. He has no idea what everyone is like to non-humans...]]
The two walked side-by-side in silence. Liara glanced around at the decorated Citadel occasionally glancing at her holopad; existing as the Shadowbroker meant no breaks at all since data travelled fast and to act on it one needed a zippy response. Another simple comparison for any basis of warfare, Garrus had seen and participated in fights where winning directly was due to lightning fast reaction towards new tidbits of crucial information. As to Garrus, already accustomed to the decorations , without thinking glanced around with only his eyes while walking in a military habit.
The citadel slowly filled up. While the structure , both inside and outside , was gargantuan, when races from all across the universe travelled into one spot then only one truly comprehend the number of souls existing. There were loners, couples, small groups, big groups, groups of one race, groups of multi-races, how one event United an entire universe was astounding. Even Garrus didn’t know how all the races ended up united, and he’d been with Shepard as she convinced the other races to settle their differences!
Walking away from the filled up areas to somewhere less loud, [+blue “Liara?”]. She stopped, turning around to face him. She didn’t need to ask with words, Garrus read the question off of her eyes. [+blue “Have someplace private where we could talk?”] A brief flash of confusion swept through her eyes, they hadn’t done business in quite a while, but Liara knew his peculiarities. [+purple “ In fact I do, just follow me”].
[+blue “Well this is a nice play to say the least”], a quiet and hearty chuckle. While it wasn’t attention grabbing, this apartment nonetheless was filled with luxury. Framed paintings hung against the dim white walls, offering color to contrast the whiteness. A small kitchen stood off in the corner, while a door , most likely, led to the bedroom. In between the entrance and the kitchen would be what would be considered the living room; a few elegantly fashioned couches which comfortably sat a group of people.
Liara sat down on one of the couches, [+purple “You wished to talk?”]. Answering with a precise nod, Garrus sat directly opposite Liara. While she sat straight and leaning back, he placed his elbows on his knees and formed a single hand which he rested his chin upon. [+blue “ I wanted to ask you a favor. I’m doing a job for someone , client discretion, and I need to fly somewhere.”] An amused smile rose on Liara’s lips, [+purple “You need a ship?”], light chuckling. Garrus chuckled in return , [+blue “Nothing fancy like this apartment. All I need is something simple I can fly and travel through a relay.”] Liara pondered silently , shifting herself more into the right of the chair she sat on. [+purple “How soon?”]. [+blue “There is no deadline”]. A single head nod answered his answer, [+purple “Just with everyone flying in today, I could not promise you one today. Besides, with the in-traffic I don’t think you’d be able to fly out”]. Both of them laughed for both knew that would be the case. Certain ships would be able to fly out, but even having a friend like Bailey Garrus knew he didn’t have enough of a case to be able to fly out.
[size13[font "Sitka Text" The tightening worry feeling in her chest only began to get worse. Shepard was greeted by everyone with a warm and friendly smile. Looking down at the bottle of whiskey she seriously considered taking a good swig now rather than later but she knew she couldn't, this was a crucial time and she needed to have a clear head rather than a whiskey speaking one. Both Daniel and Shepard made their way over to Joe's office, there was no reason for him to come down to see them. Shepard gave a smirk knowing that if he knew what had happened on the Citadel he would have lost his fucking mind.]]
[size13[font "Sitka Text" There was no conversation between herself and Daniel but it was to be expected, she classed Daniel as a friend as he did with her and everything he knew about Clare Williams turned out to be a lie. So of course he was feeling many emotions, mostly anger towards her and Shepard didn't want to make things worse by pretending everything was 'okay'.
[size13[font "Sitka Text" To Shepard's dismay it didn't take very long to reach Joe's office and her mind was racing with different explanations she could come up with. But it was useless she needed to see how Daniel was going to react first there was no point trying to defend herself if Daniel was about to go barging in and shouting everything and who she was. Deep down Shepard was hoping that their 10 years of friendship meant something even with this huge secret hanging over them.]]
[size13[font "Sitka Text" Standing outside the door Shepard reached for the handle when Daniel suddenly grabbed her shoulders and looked at her with a very stern look.]] [size13[#008000[font "Sitka Text" "Listen to me... If you want me to save your ass do EXACTLY as I say, no smart mouth, no sarcasm nothing. I know how Joe can be, just speak when Joe asks you to and leave everything else to me..."]]] [size13[font "Sitka Text" Shepard gave a nod and looking at Daniel with the faintest of smiles. She was literally depending solely on Daniel now, there was a briefest sense of relief knowing that she wouldn't have to go through this alone but the sense of dread was very much still there.]]
[size13[font "Sitka Text" Daniel reached for the handle as Shepard simply watched on, the door opened and the two walked inside, slowly shutting the door behind her, they were both greeted with a warm and friendly smile from Joe. Shepard wondered how long that smile would last for once he found out what the two of them knew. He gestured for them to sit down with they quickly did so. The sooner this was over and done with the better.
[size13[font "Sitka Text" Joe looked at the two of them a confused expression beginning to appear on his face.]] [size13[#8B4513[font "Sitka Text" "Daniel? Clare? Is something the matter? Did something happen during the trip to the Citadel?"]]] [size13[font "Sitka Text" The smile soon disappeared from his face as Daniel began relay the events of what happened with Shepard and the Turian called Garrus. The entire time Shepard was looking a Joe but she noticed his expression changed when he mentioned the Turian. Shepard knew that Joe didn't like other species of aliens, it was known for him to turn away people that weren't human who had landed on the planet.]]
[size13[font "Sitka Text" This was another of the reason as to why he preferred to stay under the radar and keep everything very basic. Shepard never fully understood it herself but you can't make everyone have the same views as you. Joe never asked her opinion on them and Shepard never bothered to say, she kept to herself and that's the way it had always been...]]
[size13[font "Sitka Text" After Daniel had finished he glanced at Shepard as she gave a slight nod and opened her mouth to speak.]] [size13[#FF0000[font "Sitka Text" "Joe... I had my reasons which I know isn't an excuse but I would never cause harm to anyone I did it for my own stupid selfish reasons and I just wanted Commander Shepard to have died on Earth that day, I didn't want to go back to my old life, I wanted to start a fresh as Clare Williams so please think about the decision. However whatever your decision is I will respect it 100%".]]]
[size13[font "Sitka Text" Breathing out a little she looked at Daniel who had a faint smile, she then turned her attention to Joe who was looking at her sternly.]] [size13[#8B4513[font "Sitka Text" Jane this is a lot of information to be taking in and I will always be grateful to you for stopping the Reapers from destroying our home planet. However you have lied to me and everyone for 10 years. I do agree with you though about you not harming us, if you intended to harm us you would have done so already by now. But I have a question to ask you previously had a relationship with the turian Garrus did you not? And if so how do you feel about him now after all these years?"]]]
[size13[font "Sitka Text" Shepard knew exactly what he was implying but she wasn't going to lie to herself anymore she was going to be 100% honest with Joe and herself.]] [size13[#FF0000[font "Sitka Text" "I haven't seen Garrus in over 10 years and seeing him today, I gave everything I could to stay away from him but it turns out we were brought together again. I do still love Garrus and my feelings haven't changed for him since the day I 'died'. However Garrus does not know this nor will he find out, our meeting on the Citadel was a one time only thing and I won't be seeing him anymore...]]]
[size13[font "Sitka Text" To hear those words come out of her mouth Shepard felt deep pain in her hear, but she knew it was for the best. She looked at Daniel who didn't have the best expression knowing she had just told Joe who despised aliens that she was still in love with one. But he told her to be honest and that's what she was going to do. After a few moments Joe asked her to step out of the room while he discussed things with Daniel one whether she should continue to be allowed to live on Neria or whether she must leave.]]
[size13[font "Sitka Text" Shepard nodded as she stood up and walked out shutting the door behind her. She instantly became worried as she began pacing the corridor and chewing her lip deep in thought.]]
Hearing the weak, pathetic whine of the junk ship as it took off, Garrus turned only his head. As the ship slowly hovered in a turn he breathed in, and sigh in sync with it flying away. Hopefully Daniel wasn’t going too hard on Shepard, but there’d be no surprises if that happened. Seeing someone you thought act differently definitely caused a shift in the mind, towards the direction of wanting to know what happened. Garrus pondered whether Shepard would explain to Daniel who she really were, because that would case quite a big shift for Daniel.
Garrus attempted distracting himself from this most recent occurrence, but in vain. The encounter opened many neural networks for past memories to fly along without resistance. One happy flashback followed by a sad one, then occasionally intermixing with a gunfight, all on a constant loop throughout the entire day. Didn’t help that barely any ships flew in nor with nothing interesting happening while checking them. Except for an overexcited group of Krogans, causing some concern because no one knew whether they’d be violent or not, the rest of the day went much too quiet for Garrus’ liking.
Before leaving, Garrus went towards Bailey’s office and have a short report. Bailey did hear of the dashing incident, but Garrus explained what happened while omitting William’s true identity. Satisfied with the report, Bailey thanked him for volunteering.
Upon parting with Bailey, Garrus once more approached the alcohol vendors. Unlike previously, he meandered, taking his time, thinking what he should buy. Being a Turian he did have a bias towards Turian alcohol, it had been awhile since he’d drunk anything else. While the danger existed with the body being incompatible with taking certain substances, humans rarely concocted anything crazy; most of their heavy drinks were straight to the point.
After buying a small bottle of whiskey from the human vendor, Garrus walked towards a quiet spot which he knew had a great view. As he walked his habitual glancing around and listening in alerted him that a single individual followed him: blue hair in that distinctive shape and a blue body meant that the individual could only be an asari. Garrus only really knew two or three specific asari individuals, but at this distance he couldn’t distinguish without appearing obvious.
Turning his back against the railing, the asari had kept up with him. As she approached closer , Garrus stone lips turned into smile. [+blue “Dr.T’Soni, what a pleasure to see you.”] With him being busy and Liara keeping in the shadows as the Shadow Broker, it had been some time since he’d seen her. [+purple “After all those years together, you don’t have to be so formal with me”, both ended up chuckling as they embraced in a friendly manner. [+purple “And someone is in a happy mood”]. Despite having to see Shepard leave, Garrus did indeed feel himself happy; was it because know he knew Shepard was dead? [+blue “Had two funny incidences occur while volunteering for C-Sec. One was a Krogan family which were seen as overly excited, they didn’t damage anything. The second is a more interesting one: ever hear of Neria?”] Liara paused, no doubt sifting through her memories, [+purple “That is a very small planet, almost no one pays attention to it. Had a deal with the Alliance Navy, but aside from nothing exciting has occurred there for some time.”] [+blue “A trade ship, and that was one piece of junk, came in, copilot nearly broke the pilot’s wrist and ended up hiding in the unloaded cargo containers; turned out the poor gal was shy being on board the citadel.”] [+purple “The citadel is big and does seem to give off the impression, especially the new one.”]] Both smiled, but Garrus hid that the copilot was in fact Jane Shepard. If Shepard wanted no one else to know he’d honor that agreement, even with the closest of friends and shipmates.
Then they walked, discussing events and what the other had done since last they met. Garrus also heard about how everyone else was getting thanks to Liara’s universe wide ties.
[size13[font "Sitka Text" Feeling herself laugh at his comment she simply nodded in agreement. Garrus was right, she would need to 'transform' back into Clare Williams. After all these years she felt more comfortable as Clare than Jane, she'd put on this show for so long she'd simply become accustomed to it. She breathed in dramatically, followed shortly after by a heavy breath out.]]
[size13[font "Sitka Text" Now back as Clare Williams she looked at Garrus with a nod and awkward smile, something that didn't take very long to perfect seeing as she never had much soft emotion about her to begin with. Following behind the turian she quietly shut the door behind her, making sure to make eye contact with the floor, her outfit didn't stand out too much but Garrus on the other hand did, she was last seen running away from him, so the less attention she bought to herself the better.]]
[size13[font "Sitka Text" Feeling rather relieved but also nervous to see Daniel again Shepard looked at him with the faintest smile. But also the look of a naughty child that had just been scolded by an elder. Taking her place next to Daniel she took several glances at Garrus slightly holding her breath hoping he wouldn't alert everyone. But hearing Garrus explain everything to Daniel which involved her true identity being kept a secret, Shepard felt herself breathe out a sigh of relief.]]
[size13[font "Sitka Text" A few moments later Garrus disappeared and she was left alone with Daniel... Great. Shepard slowly turned to face him, the least to say was he didn't look impressed, in fact he looked furious but also had a look of worry. Breathing out what felt like the hundredth sigh of relief today she opened her mouth.]] [size13[#FF0000[font "Sitka Text" "Don't look at me like that Daniel. I'll explain everything once we get back to the ship, it's not something I can speak openly about on the Citadel."]] [size13[font "Sitka Text" Obviously what she said wouldn't have put David's mind to rest but it was all she could say for now without revealing too much. There were a lot more people on the Citadel now which made it all the more of a risk.]]
[size13[font "Sitka Text" At this point as much as it pained her to be away from Garrus she wanted nothing more than to be in her own room with a hard drink to forget about all the events of today. As that thought popped into her head Garrus returned with two bottles. As this 'kind' gesture Shepard couldn't help but to smile, she didn't even bother trying to hide it either. Garrus was still after all this time very much the charmer she knew him to be.]]
[size13[font "Sitka Text" Not giving it much thought David automatically took the drinks. He handed her the whiskey knowing too well it was her favourite spirit, holding it by her side she looked to Garrus and smiled.]] [size13[#FF0000[font "Sitka Text" "Thank you Garrus and again I'm so sorry for all the trouble I caused... it won't happen again."]]] [size13[font "Sitka Text" Glancing at both him and Daniel she tried her best to keep up her Williams appearance. After all she had caused a lot of trouble so that was Shepard speaking in that apology.]]
[size13[font "Sitka Text" Thanking Garrus one last time her and Daniel made their way back to their ship. You could tell by the pace Daniel was walking at he wanted to get back to the ship and know what the hell was going on. Providing he wasn't about to kick her off midway back to Neria.]]
[size13[font "Sitka Text" As they arrived at the docks Shepard turned around to face Garrus, without Daniel noticing she mouthed the words to him]] [size13[i[#FF0000[font "Sitka Text" "I'll always love you Garrus..."]]] [size13[font "Sitka Text" Not one hundred percent sure whether he'd seen her properly or not it was for her benefit as well, smiling to herself she pulled her cap down and quickly followed Daniel back to the ship.]]
[size13[font "Sitka Text" As soon as her butt touched the pilots chair Daniel let Shepard know just how pissed he was.]] [size13[#008000[font "Sitka Text" "What the fuck Clare?! Or should I even be calling you that? I wanna know everything NOW! You'd better have a damn good explanation too if you want me to help you explain all this to Joe."]]] [size13[font "Sitka Text" 'Shit' she'd completely forgotten about Joe and the others after everything that had happened. There was no point in lying though. She'd been lying to these good people for far too long and it was about time for them to know who she really was.]]
[size13[font "Sitka Text" Shepard began telling him what had happened and her actual name. It wasn't a surprise to her though when Daniel freaked out, it wasn't everyday you were sat in a ship with Shepard. She already knew that as much as she hated it.]] [size13[#008000[font "Sitka Text" "So wait wait, you're telling me that for 10 years i've been good friends with not Clare Williams but Jane Shepard?! THE Jane Shepard!"]]] [size13[font "Sitka Text" Daniel leaned back in his chair in amazement as Shepard let out another sigh. She hated all this attention and this is exactly why she didn't want to come back.]]
[size13[font "Sitka Text" Just as Daniel opened his mouth to speak once more Shepard held her index finger up.]] [size13[#FF0000[font "Sitka Text" "Enough questions for now. We're nearly home, please can you act like everything is fine until we can speak to Joe privately? The less people that know for the time being the better".]]] [size13[font "Sitka Text" Daniel nodded in agreement as Shepard felt her jaw tighten. They'd arrived in Neria's hemisphere and she was not looking forward to this conversation one bit. To make matters worse all she could think about was leaving Garrus behind...]]
Even though leg swinging was childish, Garrus rediscovered something he loved in a similar manner to a child participating in an activity they enjoyed. Even if he’d wanted to, Garrus couldn’t have repressed the eye-gleaming chuckle that burst forth from his chest; so long since he’d seen Shepard and her posses, it also piqued his curiosity since even that slight pose change made her seem different.
Turians were capable of blushing, just not the way humans would: instead of the face’s skin mutating a different color, the side-flanges rotated in a particular way; hearing Shepard commenting on his sexy mastery of the Turian language brought out this reaction in Garrus. Although he couldn’t remember when he’d spoken Turian to or in front of Shepard, but if she remembered then he had to have spoken it in the past.
Garrus solemnly nodded his head, bounties were pain in the asses. Once you, they would attract every single glory seeker from around the universe; didn’t matter age, race, or even affiliation. He would know all too well, since pissing off all four of the major mercenary companies sent enough attention for Shepard to come and save him from the mess he’d orchestrated.
Still he felt sadness and remorse, the latter for pinning Shepard and the former for only having this short reacquaintance time accidentally thrown his way. Seeing Shepard once more rekindled the spirit of adventure, flying through the universe and encountering the unknown at every turn with the occasional gunfight here and there. Even though the times had been at their worst, in some ways those moments had been his most fulfilling ones. Garrus understood Shepard couldn’t galavant off with him, her sudden disappearance from Neria would raise questions and then this entire messy web would be untangled.
Shepard’s request broke through the awkward silence. For a few second Garrus still sat with a melancholic face. Releasing a deep, long sigh he stood up, placing the rifle back on himself. Donning his serious, poker business face and with a precise tone, [+blue “That is the least I can do now, otherwise I’d offer to go off adventuring. Now, don’t forget to transform back into Claire Williams, can’t be showing Shepard onboard; especially during the annual victory festival.”].
Giving Shepard a few moments in donning her Williams identity, Garrus went off striding calmly and with a firm step. Upon approaching Daniel, Garrus cut off his unspoken words with a firm , diagonal slash of his right hand. [+blue “Don’t worry, nothing serious has happened. I just had to follow formalities, and this place is more about on its security formalities. Especially after a massive security breach almost took over the entire station”]. Locking his cold, unmoving eyes with Daniel’s, Garrus quickly looked at Shepard walking back towards him; Daniel did not need to know what had happened over ten years ago.
As he turned, Garrus faked an [i ‘ah hah’] moment. With a chuckle, [+blue “Could you please wait a few minutes? I forgot to bring the data with me.”] While that was true, that only filled half of it. The other half involved in finding a gift for Shepard, seemed only fitting. And from his experience humans enjoyed a stiff drink after highly emotional moments, such as this one.
He knew where the alcohol closest to the C-Sec offices were located: C-Sec officers enjoyed their drinks after finishing their shift, and the smart alcohol vendors had set up some shops close to the offices.
Garrus needed a human vendor as they’d best understand their own species’ understanding of drinks. There were more vendors down here than usual on account of the festival, and luckily that meant more human vendors as a few of them milled around with shipments of alcohol. Managing to flag one down, [+blue “Terribly sorry to interrupt you, but I’m buying drinks for a human friend of mine. I need two different human alcohol drinks which are stiff.”] The human gave him an odd look, but business was business. In exchange for some credits, not cheap but the price was worth it, Garrus received one bottle labeled whiskey and the other labeled vodka. After thanking the human vendor for their time, he ran back up.
Arriving only slightly out of breath, Garrus extending both bottles. One in Daniel’s direction and the other in Shepard’s, [+blue “Had these lying around, and I don’t drink anymore. Just a token apology for all these formalities.”] The moment was awkward, but Shepard aided in smoothing things over with Daniels. Garrus then slowly departed, glancing over his shoulder every now and then, waiting for the junk ship to take off.
[size13[font "Sitka Text" Seeing the painful expression on Garrus' face caused Shepard a great deal of pain, even more painful than her injuries after blowing up the Reapers base. She couldn't even begin to imagine what she had put him through. But seeing Garrus not give her the shouting she should have received or pushed her away, there was the tiniest glimmer of hope that with all this happening so soon and so fast, they may be able to stay friends, she didn't even give the possibility of their relationship returning after that huge bond of trust being broken. If she couldn't have him as a soul mate then a good friend would have to do, she couldn't risk losing him again.]]
[size13[font "Sitka Text" Hearing that laugh that she loved so much to hear though almost brought tears to her eyes. The one thing she missed the most was the jokes between the two of them, they both shared the same sense of humor which wasn't an easy thing to find as Shepard was never really the stand up comedy kinda gal. But their humor? Well it was unique.]]
[size13[font "Sitka Text" Watching him walk back over to the table she couldn't help but sneak a glance. Yep she still found him incredibly attractive even after all these years, he had hardly changed whereas Shepard on the other hand looked completely different, but that was what she was aiming for. As he parked his rear on the table she glanced at his rifle, obviously it had been replaced or upgraded, she couldn't fully remember if the rifle left Earth with him that day, but knowing Garrus he wouldn't go anywhere without that rifle. A smile formed on Shepards face, seeing Garrus with that rifle almost made look like it was his pet.]]
[size13[font "Sitka Text" Deciding to no longer keep up the fake body posture she went back to old Shepard, crossing her arms and sticking her hip out to the side a little, the smirk appearing on her face as she listened to Garrus give her somewhat of a welcome back, she couldn't help but chuckle a little. Shepard took a step forward closing the gap between them.]] [size13[#FF0000[font "Sitka Text" "We never did get the chance for you to teach me a little Turian... However whenever I heard you speak Turian I always found it incredibly sexy..."]]]
[size13[font "Sitka Text" This time Shepard laughed a little more, taking another step in front of her, closing the gap between them once more. A nervous smile appeared on her face, almost fooling Garrus wasn't something she was proud of but another part of her hated herself for giving to him so easily. She let out a sigh before opening her mouth to speak,]] [size13[#FF0000[font "Sitka Text" "well I hate to be the one to admit this, because as much as I love my crew, I feel as though I would have been able to get through it without being detected, they don't know me like you do Garrus, so I had to put double the work in and even then it was hard, not seeing you for 10 years is one thing, but seeing you here in person after all this time... Well it makes everything a hell of a lot more difficult".]]]
[size13[font "Sitka Text" Shepard could feel her chest tighten from how nervous she was, there was a feeling in the pit of her stomach and a little voice in the back of her head telling her that she wasn't through this yet. She closed the gap once more now standing directly in front of the Turian she came to love and smiled when he mentioned Liara. She rubbed the back of her neck pulling her old awkward smile.]]
[size13[#FF0000[font "Sitka Text" "I'll have to admit Liara was a pain in the ass, but I wouldn't expect any less from her. However crash landing on a human only populated planet of about 100 or so helps, the technology on there isn't great either it's very outdated, well you've seen the flying death trap in the docks, so really it was the perfect place to blend in... But... I've never let my guard down, you of all people should know how stubborn I can be. But... The reason I didn't leave a message is because I knew it could be traced, I don't just mean by Liara either, there would be a bounty on my head and I wasn't prepared to put you all at risk either... So... I just disappeared and hoped over time you would all be able to move on and lead happy lives..."]]]
[size13[font "Sitka Text" The next comment Shepard would make however would make her heart hurt again. She leaned forward placing her hand on the side of Garrus' face once more and smiled.]] [size13[#FF0000[font "Sitka Text" "Garrus... You know this conversation has to come to an end, people will begin to get suspicious and so will my co-pilot, I also... need to explain to him what has happened, it's about time the people who saved me know who I really am, let's just hope they can keep it a secret, we both know what would happen if the Citadel found out about me..."]]]
[size13[font "Sitka Text" Taking one last deep breath she adjusted her hat once more and sighed looking at Garrus with the faintest of smiles on her lips, they both knew where it was heading but it didn't make it any easier. In fact Shepard was using the last of her strength for her goodbyes, she knew it was going to be hard but it had to be done, for the safety of both of them. If the Citadel got word of Garrus knowing about Shepard being alive, he would face punishment as well. She wasn't prepared to drag him down with her, if he wanted to report her then so be it, after all she would call that even, but she couldn't trust anyone else, her old crew wasn't here to protect them so she needed to get as far away from Garrus as possible to keep him safe.]]
[size13[font "Sitka Text" Taking one last deep breath Shepard's hand twitched on his cheek, she tried to pull her hand away but it refused to move, she knew deep down she didn't want to let go, the only man she ever truly loved was in front of her, but she needed to go back to being Clare Williams, the sooner she let go the sooner she could be back on the ship, where the bottle of Whiskey would be waiting for her, she would be able to drown her sorrows later tonight depending on how well the talk went. Finally being able to let go she smiled at Garrus.]] [size13[#FF0000[font "Sitka Text" "So Garus, fancy taking a walk with me back to the ship?"]]]
Internally he cursed himself both in the English and Turian language. He shouldn’t have lost control, he should not have laid his hands in such an aggressive manner on Shepard. He was not apprehending her for any crime, except maybe for false death, and such force was therefore not needed. Garrus could hear as shame slowly throbbed throughout him, he’d experienced many perturbing events and not a single time had he lost his temper. Except for that one time when he’d nearly killed the Turian whom he felt betrayed by, but thay had been a singular occurrence compared to the rest in those years.
After the momentary locking of the eyes Garrus turned his head like a dog tucks its tail in shame. What would Shepard think of his inability in controlling his temper. He’d seen guys ditched forever after losing their temper, and the time spent together mattered naught at all. Would the same happen between him and Shepard?
So deep did Garrus allowed himself to sink into he noticed neither Shepard moving close up nor her hands moving upwards. This in no way was optimal as the possibility of being killed in order to preserve a secret was possible, even from the one you loved was it possible. But Garrus didn’t find himself bleeding and dying after startling from Shepard’s grasp, instead his head turned to lock with Shepard’s especially bright green eyes. He felt her soft and warm hands resting on his side while a scratching on where his scars were caused Garrus to move around his jaw a bit; despite the gloomy atmosphere Garrus could feel a smile and chuckle inside, Shepard could never really resist poking at his scar.
Garrus broke eye contact with a slight lowering of his head, minutely shaking it from one side to another. He had made multiple attempts at both letting go and finding happiness , each attempt ending in nothing and serving only for adding further confusion the next time. Garrus understood keeping secrets all too well, he’d done it when following his leads so the creature on the end of the string didn’t know of his coming. But this secret Shepard kept, whatever her selfish reason was, felt much too unfair. She’d kept not only the secret from him but from everyone else as well, even though they’d managed in finding a path in moving on and finding their own happiness.
Hearing Shepard joke about his still present scars awakened something with him. His right hand gently brushed Shepard’s left hand away as Garrus ran his suit-covered fingers over the rough, bumpy right cheek. His lips smirked lightly with an unexpected chuckle. Turning around he strolled to the desk, turning once again around and planting himself with a thud on the table. As Garrus sat down he removed the folded sniper rifle from his back which automatically unfolded after the removal. While this rifle was a recent production model, in appearance it looked like a copy of the rifle he’d used before Shepard’s disappearance.
After standing the sniper rifle on the floor with its butt end touching the ground and the barrel leaning against the table, Garrus looked upwards smiling wryly. [+blue “You know Shepard, there’s an extremely specific way of welcoming back someone from the grave. But since you don’t understand Turian I’ll say it in how I’ve heard you humans saying: Damn, it’s good to have you back”]. Resting his hands on top the desk Garrus leaned back slightly, chuckling. [+blue “You almost had me back there I’ll admit that. You’re probably regretting giving that guy what you gave him”], a sigh escaped his lips as his expression shifted from happy to serious slowly while his hands moved and gripped each other in front. [+blue “Shepard”], a deep breath and sigh with the lightest of head shakings, [+blue “I understand wanting to get away from all this. I can’t think why you couldn’t leave any of us a message. You could’ve told us not to tell anyone and none of wouldn’t have told anyone about you. Now I’m the only one from your original crew who knows of your existence while everyone else still thinks you’re dead. I’m surprised you managed to escape Liara”].
[size13[font "Sitka Text" Before Shepard could even put one foot forward she found herself spin around and land against the now closed door forcefully. She looked up at Garrus in surprise as she felt the cold metal against her skin, he'd never done anything like this to her before, which meant only two things, he knew who she was and he was beyond pissed.]]
[size13[font "Sitka Text" Shepard opened her mouth to explain, remaining calm for the first time in today, maybe it was because for the first time in a long time, Garrus was the one who lost his cool and not Shepard. She took a deep breath, feeling her heart rate slow down as she looked up at Garrus, making eye contact she watched as he took a step back. However the next thing she saw truly surprised her, the weakness of his voice, the look of vulnerability on his face. It hurt Shepard, it made her heart ache and it was all her fault.]]
[size13[font "Sitka Text" Slowly putting on foot in front of the other Shepard took a step closer towards Garrus, closing the gap between them, she slowly lifted her hands but stopped when she was near his face, Shepard bit her lip a little hesitant. She knew in this moment that if she touched Garrus, this would confirm everything, everything she tried to cover up. But she man she loved now stood in front of her falling to pieces over something she had done. But she felt a sense of need to protect him and she didn't want to drag him into whatever trouble she would be in next.]]
[size13[font "Sitka Text" Now feeling her heart racing, she placed her hands on either side of Garrus' face, with her thumb she caressed the side with the scar, a faint smile appearing on her lips. Shepard looked up meeting Garrus' eyes once more, seeing the pain on his face caused her eyes to fill up, she swallowed her emotions though, it would do no good for both of them to cry.]]
[size13[#FF0000[font "Sitka "I'm sorry.... That we had to meet under these circumstances, I'm sure you have questions which I cannot currently answer, I need to keep this hidden for my own selfish reasons... Garrus you need to let go... from me, us, everything, you of all people deserve to be happy I--"]]] [size13[font "Sitka Text" Shepard hung her head down resting her hands on his shoulders, she couldn't finish her sentence. The love of her life was now in front of her after 10 years, he didn't shout, he wasn't angry... he was upset and heartbroken and somewhat relieved she was okay. He still loved her and she broke his heart. Shepard couldn't let him go again nor did she want to, but now was not the time for making up. They needed to be alone and away from wandering eyes. This was the most crucial time that she kept her identity a secret, otherwise the consequences could be very grave.]]
[size13[font "Sitka Text" Taking a deep breath once more, she stood up straight looking up at Garrus, the faintest of smiles on her lips.]] [size13[#FF0000[font "Sitka "It was good to see you again Garrus, again I'm... sorry.. for everything.. I can't even begin... I'm sorry".]]] [size13[font "Sitka Text" She didn't even want to finish off the sentence and she knew if Garrus decided to lightly forgive her and continue to talk to her she would have a lot of explaining to do, he wouldn't like what she had to say, hell he might even tell her he wants nothing to do with her again.]]
[size13[font "Sitka Text" It wouldn't surprise Shepard in the slightest, at this point in her life it would come as no shock to her if she deserved to be alone for the rest of her life. Shepard lightly returned her hands to his face as she once more began lightly running her fingers across his scar.]] [size13[#FF0000[font "Sitka "You never did remove your scars".]]] [size13[font "Sitka Text" Shepard made a light joke, knowing the next move Garrus made would make them or break them.]]
He noticed the minuscule smile right away. No doubt Shepard understood his current method, the many years together fighting and loving side-by-side forming that bond which allowed for comprehension of the other.
Having amnesia as an excuse for bad memories seemed very convenient, especially with the whole disappearance thing going on. But what if Shepard truly had amnesia? This thought unsettled Garrus a bit, for he’d seen people suffer memory loss after a single battle; Shepard had been through above and beyond what any regular soldier had experienced, what if she truly had lost memories. Many years of all sorts of memories vanished just like that, a slight press of a trigger and blam.
He had asked her the circumstances concerning her arrival, but an answer he received not. Although maybe he didn’t need to as Shepard could simply state about either being born there or no memories due to amnesia.
His head lit a figurative lightbulb. While so far Shepard successfully masked her disguise, at this moment she had erred. Now while anyone could’ve joked around, if one wanted to keep their disguise then their manner of speech needed consistency. Shepard joked but it lacked the consistency in the mannerism of Ms.Claire Williams. Hearing the mannerism of Jane Shepard, Garrus could hear all the past memories he’d enjoyed spending time by her side. Viewing the present, he heard the past from various points in time.
Here the present continued, and Garrus didn’t know how to react. For all his training and thinking, nothing would’ve prepared for this impossibility. He knew the person in front of him was Jane Shepard, and here she was leaving once again. Shepard already had once disappeared just like that, and then came back mysteriously; But after this disappearance she’d never return, normally or mysteriously.
[+red “Goodbye Garrus”], those were the words that gave him that emotional spark to act. The moment Shepard capped her head Garrus stood up and slowly walked into a jog and then into a full blown run. The door hadn’t even opened halfway before Garrus laid his hands on Shepard and pushed her against the wall while closing the door with a kick of his right foot. He instantly went in for a pin, the cold metal left arm armor pressing against the wall trapping her neck while his right arm pressed her chest and arms into the wall.
Hardly a noise, an eerily awkward fog filling the atmosphere. And then Garrus locked his pale blue eyes with the vibrant green of Shepard’s. His hands began shaking, rapid blinking as he felt tears pooling in his eyes. [+blue “Shepard, I.....”], his hands suddenly dropping away and taking a few steps backwards. Using his right arm Garrus brushed away the forming tears, but only more came to replace the wiped away ones splattered in his hand. He opened his mouth to speak but nothing came out, the hands clenching and unclenching. [+blue “I can’t... I can’t lose you again..”], a voice straining from breaking and filled with sadness.
[size13[font "Sitka Text" Shepard could slowly feel the panic rising within her, it was only a matter of time before Garrus would ask her something only they knew and she would crumble in front of him, there was no where to run and nowhere to hide. No surprise to her as she gave her 'statement' not necessarily the one he wanted to hear that Garrus kept up. He was one of the best soldiers she ever knew so something a simple a task as this would be nothing to him.]]
[size13[font "Sitka Text" Seeing him glance up at her every now and again a couple of times their eyes met which caused Shepard to feel flustered, she removed her hat once more knowing deep down he knew who she was and it was very uncomfortable to wear. She ran her fingers through her hair and looked up at the Turian with her bright green eyes. She shuffled a little in her seat as he finished up the final necessary procedures.]]
[size13[font "Sitka Text" Then all of a sudden came the million dollar question, Shepard couldn't help but smile a little, this is definitely something Garrus would do but she decided to play along with it never the less, the same story she had told everyone on Neria she would tell Garrus, she tucked her hair behind her ear and began to spoke in her 'Claire Williams' voice]] [size13[#FF0000[font "Sitka "Actually I don't have much history, I suffer with Amnesia and have done for some years now, the doctors back on Neria said if it doesn't come back within the next 2 years it most likely will never return. That was 5 years ago... I've been on Neria for around 10 years now and I do minor things like farming and occasional repairs on machinery, oh of course piloting is one of them as well."]]]
[size13[font "Sitka Text" Shepard knew all these 'harmless, innocent' questions were all apart of Garrus' plan for him to catch her out, but just as he knew her better than anyone, she knew him equally the same, all his little tricks she prepared for in case she ever ran into him again.]]
[size13[font "Sitka Text" Accidentally letting her guard down in front of Garrus her true personality came out as she made a jokey comment,]] [size13[#FF0000[font "Sitka "As much as I'm having fun sitting here reminiscing with you about my lack of memory on my past, I do really need to get back to my colleague. I told you everything that happened and I believe everything was cleared on the ship so if you'll excuse me."]]]
[size13[font "Sitka Text" Shepard stood up from her seat and turned around to walk to the door, glancing back once at the Turian she loved so much, feeling the pain in her chest once more brought back the memories of the day she left him and the last thing she said to him. Looking down she smiled swallowing so she wouldn't burst into tears.]]
[size13[#FF0000[font "Sitka "Goodbye Garrus..."]]]
[size13[font "Sitka Text" Shepard took a deep breath quickly putting her hat back on tucking her hair away as she opened the door. This would be the final time she would see him again and somehow she found it more painful than the first time. Maybe it would have been better if she didn't survive the crash. The great Commander Shepard, wishing she didn't survive the Reapers, oh the irony...]]
His thin, scaly fingers hovered over the holo-keyboard, beady eyes focused on the screen. Eyes glanced upwards at the sound of footsteps, Williams/Shepard walking and sitting down in front with a [+red “Yes of course”]. He thought her eyes seemed sparking like, but whether the cause came from lighting or tears was unknown. Garrus’ eyes noticed the calmness as well, but for him it felt forced and not natural.
At the sound of coughing his fingers tensed, raising by a few degrees in preparation for depression into the nonexistent keyboard.
The fingers silently tapped against the solid top of the desk, the typing speed keeping up with the speed of the voice. Garrus felt frustrated, not at her but at himself for allowing such a small defeat. Williams/Shepard answered the question alright, either not understanding or completely ignoring, the latter being more likely, his implied question.
Then silence filled the room. Garrus’ eyes scanned the holoscreen, looking for mistakes in his typing while occasionally glancing at Williams/Shepard. He found himself quietly humming a tune which he’d usually hum while calibrating the Normandy’s guns, his thoughts switching from the document to a dynamic.
Leaning back in the chair Garrus brought his hands down, resting them against his lower chest. Without a doubt he knew the person across from was Jane Shepard, the person who ‘died’ twice and romantic friend through many years of perilous adventures. But Garrus suspected that Shepard knew about his suspicions about her, wanting in keeping the cover of Ms.Williams of Neria. Maybe even Shepard knew that he’d find out eventually, but she didn’t want it out easy like.
Garrus would take up this challenge, making Shepard expose herself and her story.
He straightened back out, hands once again hovering over the keyboard. Swinging his beady eyes and locking them with William’s/Shepard’s eyes, [+blue “What is your history? Time spent on Neria, what you do there, how you got there”], Garrus’ voice staying relaxed and friendly.
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