[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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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.
[size13[font "Sitka Text" To Shepard's surprise Garrus showed no emotion when Daniel hugged her, but it may have been for the best it would have caused too much suspicion, however her forced laugh made no difference in his emotions which made Shepard smile a little. She thought the only person he wasn't 100% serious with was Shepard and that had done a total 180 now, if anything he would be infuriated with her if you could even describe it. But she would deal with the consequences if there was to be any. Maybe he wouldn't mention anything and this could go on as if nothing had happened.]]
[size13[font "Sitka Text" Shepard turned her attention to Daniel giving him somewhat of an assuring nod, she had no idea how this would go with Garrus and Daniel had no idea that she knew him, hell he didn't even know who she was and he'd known her for the best part of 10 years. Turning away from Daniel she looked to the floor frowning.]]
[size13[font "Sitka Text" That was another thing if the truth had come out, how would Daniel react to it and the rest of the colony? Would they alert the Citadel, surely she would be arrested for faking her own death? Shepard shook the thoughts out of her head. That worry would have to come later. At the moment the only thing she had to worry about was the Turian in front of her. And in all honesty it was the only thing she cared about.]]
[size13[font "Sitka Text" Quietly following behind him, she could feel the nerves building, the longer she was left alone with him the more her walls would begin to lower. The only person she ever truly trusted and loved was standing in front of her, it would be hard to keep her emotions at bay. But she had to she needed to keep up this front for just a little longer.]]
[size13[font "Sitka Text" Closing the door behind her she turned around to see Garrus keep distance between them behind a desk. She could feel her nerves building, not decided on whether she should sit down or not Shepard decided to stand, it would only make her feel more nervous. Deep down Shepard knew that Garrus knew, he was extremely sharp and smart, as soon as he saw her face he would have known straight away and that's why she bolted. But she didn't want to admit it to him, she was scared as to how he would react or even if he would report her as 'revenge' perhaps? But that didn't seem like Garrus.]]
[size13[font "Sitka Text" Walking around the room Shepard stopped at a leaflet on the wall, explaining the rules and regulations on the Citadel, to no surprise there were a lot more now than there was the last time Shepard was on the Citadel and even then she thought the list was huge.]]
[size13[font "Sitka Text" Soon though her thoughts were stopped dead in their tracks at the sound of Garrus' voice. Shepards eyes widened and she could feel her heart racing. She turned to Garrus as he made eye contact with her, tears forming in her eyes but she swallowed and moved over to where he was sitting. Slowly she sat down and looked at him trying to remain as calm as possible.]] [size13[#FF0000[font "Sitka "Yes of course..."]]] [size13[font "Sitka Text" Shepard cleared her throat in fear of her voice cracking in front of him then continued.]]
[size13[#FF0000[font "Sitka "Our business on the Citadel was for trading purposes only, which you saw as you inspected the ship. As I was waiting near customs with the officer, I was lost in my own thoughts and the person who travelled with me, Daniel had been calling me which I hadn't noticed, so when he tapped me on the shoulder it caught me by surprise, wrongfully grabbing him, he called out in pain. Then with all the attention of everyone including yourself, made me extremely uneasy which caused me to flee back to the ship. And well... You know the rest from there..."]]]
[size13[font "Sitka Text" Shepard knew this would probably only make him even more angrier but she needed to keep this Claire Williams identity if he saw through it maybe he would pretend as though nothing had happened, but who was she kidding there was no way Garrus would ignore this, he was always so stubborn and he loved a challenge, he had told her this many times before. Shepard took a deep breath, well he wanted excitement looks like he got it. She had to stop herself from smiling as she awaited his response to her statement.]]
A pause ensued, no doubt thinking on the next course of action. For Ms.Williams/Commander Shepard the choice rest between Garrus' order phrased as a question or disobeying it. As for Garrus, he found himself forcing his hand away from tearing up the cap. Even in high tensioned situations his hands remained calm, an important aspect when sniping targets and the most minute twitch of the hand would send a shot somewhere else.
But the nerves was something else entirely, and Garrus slowly was losing his nerve. It would've been one thing if this Ms.Williams was indeed who she claimed to be, but that jolt of seeing Shepard's face threw everything out the ship.
Even though all this felt unnerving Garrus had to keep his professional side on. Not only could he risk his own reputation, absolulely under no circumstance would he expose Ms.Williams as Commander Shepard to everyone. She'd ran away from everything and everyone close to her, which meant she had some god damn good, justifiable reason for it. And only when he found out why would he make the decision whether to keep it secret or spread it.
For now, he'd deal with this debacle.
Williams/Shepard stood back up, squirming out and away from the boxes. Garrus appreciated the eye contact when speaking, even though the smile was merely for show. He closed his eyes, letting out a sigh as the brows furrowed and then unfurrowed, a brief pause to compose himself before continuing.
The walk back was filled with silence, minus the workers continuing in the background, Garrus only a foot or two behind Williams/Shepard. Most likely she wouldn't try running, but on the off chance she did then Garrus would put a stop without a thought.
A slight pause occured, Williams/Shepard asking for the cap back. At this point he didn't give a damn, she could have it back and cover her bright red hair under its dark depths.
Entering the customs office Daniel ran out and hugged Williams/Shepard. Daniel had no clue who Ms.Williams truly was, Garrus wouldn't have been surprised if Daniels tried dating, and the truth would most definitely shock him to the soul.
[+blue [b "Aye, some paperwork needs to be signed. Daniels and Polawski will sign the shipping papers, and you and me will sign the incidence papers. Now follow me Ms.Williams."]] The last sentence was uttered in a tone which brooked no argument.
Garrus walked off to one of the empty offices, keeping the door open as he made his way further inside and sitting down behind the table. Powering up the computer, the blue holoscreen popping up, he pulled out an incident form. Hearing footsteps and a door closing shortly after, a quick glance revealed that Williams/Shepard had actually followed. Keeping his eyes on the screen, [+blue [b "Mind explaining what happened?"]]. He'd give her one chance to explain herself before pulling out the bad cop style on her.
[size13[font "Sitka Text" Shepard ran as fast as her legs could carry her, it had been years since she needed to sprint like this and she was a little slower than she was used to. Looking behind her Garrus being the soldier he was, was much quicker than her, just by walking alone and was almost close to catching her.]]
[size13[font "Sitka Text" Looking at the docking area she noticed some large boxes,]] [size13[i[font "Sitka Text"that's where i'll lose him!]]] [size13[font "Sitka Text" With what little stamina she had left she ran towards them her pulse racing. She was in the clear, she would just hide until Garrus gave up and went back to where the audience had now gathered at the word of a girl looking like Shepard fleeing from Vakarian. Amongst other things...]]
[size13[font "Sitka Text" But it was no good... Garrus was too good a soldier to give up...]]
[size13[font "Sitka Text" Finally reaching the boxes she ran towards them and crouched down. The great commander Shepard who had fought off the Batarians of Elysium, then the Geth, Ceberus and finally the Reapers, was now crouching down on the floor trying to catch her breath, her heart pounding at the sight of Garrus finding her. Shepard was at a loss in what to do. And then she heard him speak... Her little hiding place had been found, but it was no surprise coming from him, he never did give up easily.]]
[size13[font "Sitka Text" There was no training in the world that could have prepared her for something like this. There was no words...]]
[size13[font "Sitka Text" Shepard needed to think up and excuse and fast. The suspicions would be enormous by now with Garrus and god knows what people thought at the commotion of her running off. Taking slow deep breaths Shepard composed herself and stood up with a cold look on her face, the less emotions shown the better. Garrus was always good at reading her.]]
[size13[font "Sitka Text" Stepping out from the boxes she looked at Garrus directly in the eyes and smiled]] [size13[#FF0000[font "Sitka "yes... Sir, I'm sorry, I've just never been around these many people and the pressure of security got a little too much for me, so excuse me for causing such a problem".]]]
[size13[font "Sitka Text" It felt like acid coming out of Shepard's mouth, she didn't even speak like this in front of the people who saved her on Neria and it being Garrus made it so much worse. Why couldn't he have sent the rude human? Shepard moved her hair a little really wishing now she had dyed her hair because this colour wasn't something everyone had.]]
[size13[font "Sitka Text" At this point Shepard felt like punching herself in the face for being so reckless, she could have done so much more to keep her identity a secret, but deep down she thought she would never have to come to a place like the Citadel and never dreamed Garrus would be back here. She thought he would have stayed on Palaven.
[size13[font "Sitka Text" Shepard dread to think what Garrus was thinking by now? Did he know she was Shepard? Of course he did... But why act like he didn't? For her protection maybe? Shepard shook her head smiling, no way Garrus loved being the element of surprise so he most likely had something planned. Shepard just needed to be one step ahead of him and being a couple at one point was a huge bonus.]]
[size13[font "Sitka Text" The slow walk back to customs felt like an eternity, at this point she didn't know what was going to happen, but at a time like this seeing Daniel a familiar face would be a blessing. Obviously being made to walk in front in case she pulled anymore vanishing acts Garrus walked closely behind her. So close in fact she could almost feel him on her back.]]
[size13[font "Sitka Text" This made Shepard feel even more nervous, but not in that kind of way. It had been so long since she had even spoken or been touched by Garrus she was sure if he did touch her it would be like a shock of electricity running through her body, but as it was Garrus she would have gone to hell and back for him... She still would.]]
[size13[font "Sitka Text" Glancing back she forgotten about the hat she had dropped which was now in Garrus' hand, taking a deep breath Shepard stopped and turned to look at him, her heart pounding once more.]] [size13[#FF0000[font "Sitka "Could I have my hat back please?"]]]
[size13[font "Sitka Text" Shepard tried to remain as calm as possible without arousing suspicion as to why she wanted it back, so she could hide her face from everyone else, the scars were bad enough so the hair would have been the icing on the cake. Gently taking the hat from his hands, her fingers brushed his which made her jump a little but quickly turned around. Shepard gathered all her hair up once more and hid it under the hat. This made her relax a little more but it still didn't want to make her turn around to look at him. She lowered her head and smiled a little.]]
[size13[#FF0000[font "Sitka "Thank you.."]]]
[size13[font "Sitka Text" The walk finally came to an end as she could see the customs sign and Daniel, Shepard had never felt so relieved to see him, finally she felt like she could breathe again. Daniel ran over to her and what he did next will shock Shepard to the core. He quickly pulled her in for a hug.]] [size13[#008000[font "Sitka Text" "Claire I was so worried about you! Are you okay?!"]]]
[size13[font "Sitka Text" Shepard couldn't step back quick enough as she adjusted her hat once more. It wasn't necessarily the hug that made her uncomfortable because she knew nothing was going on and Daniel was just a very good friend, it was Garrus. She of all people didn't want him to think anything but the truth. But what did it matter, there was no way Garrus would still feel the same about her now. It had been far too long...]]
[size13[font "Sitka Text" Taking one last deep breathe she turned to look at Garrus and smiled once more.]] [size13[#FF0000[font "Sitka "You said there was some paperwork that needed signing? I'll be out of your way soon before I cause anymore trouble".]] [size13[font "Sitka Text" Shepard let out a slight laugh hoping Garrus would buy it. And they could both go on with their lives.]]
Garrus had a bored, borderline indifferent stare as Daniel closed the containers shut. Ever since the victorious end of the Reaper War all the challenges seemed to disappear along with the Reapers' existence. All his life he'd pursued after challenges, the very things which spiced up life. Ever since his initial investigation into Saren Garrus dealt with one challenge after another, slowly accustoming himself that there'd be a challenge around each corner. Whether or not said challenge would've been successfully conquered, which they'd been, was entirely a different question.
But for now he'd deal with this unchallenging situations the same way he'd dealt with challenging ones, high attentiveness with a calm attitude.
As the two walked out Garrus kept quiet while scanning the ship one last time, hoping to catch any minute detail he'd missed on the way in. Sadly nothing popped out, the ship looked identical on the way out as it had on the way in.
His mind then switched to Daniel's earlier words about Claire. [+blue [i 'You'll have to excuse my pilot for being so quiet, she's not used to this many people and it's making her a little nervous. She avoids the Citadel at all costs, so it's a big deal for her to be here, right Claire?']], remembering word for word. The first sentence revealed nothing unique for almost all newcomers became bewildered when introduced to such a numerous and diverse place on what was basically a ginormous space station, Garrus knew that feeling for he himself had experienced with his 'baby steps' upon the Citadel. It was the other two sentences that bothered him. Whether avoiding some crime committed on the Citadel, a nasty run-in with someone or group, or pure bad luck, a reason existed. If Daniel had mentioned that Claire never expressed interest instead of avoiding then that would've sounded much less suspicious. But the third sentence was the most suspicious out of the three. It gave the 'covering for you' vibe, as if Daniel wanted to hide something about Claire or he actually didn't know Claire. To be fair, with Claire being a first timer to the Citadel and Daniel being here many a time there was the possibility that he'd only met her today. But then that went circular, coming around to the unanswerable question as to why Claire avoided the Citadel at all costs.
A quick glance upwards revealed being close in proximity to the door leading to the many offices that were apart of customs. Even though Daniel already knew the procedure, just for the sakes of following said procedure. The schpeel wasn't too long but long enough for the two of them to go through the doors and even walk in.
Garrus noted Polawksi's annoyed look, a conversation for later, meaning Claire had to have somehow disobeyed his orders. Probing the room unveiled Claire standing near one of the few bulletin boards and reading it. Most likely Polawski had wanted Claire to remain in one spot and Claire had moved to the bulletin board.
Daniel began calling Claire's name, Garrus stopped and patiently waited. But Claire responded not, as if deep in thought. Daniel called her name a few more times before getting sick of it and walking towards her.
What happened next even Garrus didn't expect it.
He saw how Daniel's arm grabbed Claire's arm, a soft grip. Not even a second later Claire, a cascade of bright red hair as her cap fell off, turning around and grabbing Daniel by his wrist in a painful manner. Daniel's strained and pained voice voiced surprise, Garrus' eyes and eyebrows showing surprise and locking with Claire's sharp green eyes.
At that moment Garrus felt his stomach dropped, he couldn't believe himself. Was that recognition he saw beyond all that fear in worry in her eyes, could it be that this Claire Williams was actually Jane Shepard? Garrus automatically began moving towards Claire, the distance between the two slowly decreasing.
And then Claire bolted. Garrus instinctively stepped aside letting her bolt pass him and through the doors. Unwise it was to be in the center of a path of a bolting creature, even when the bolting creature be an unarmored human and the creature in its path an armored Turian. And with this unarmored human being unarmed as well, she couldn't harm anyone no run very far. And from Daniel's insights Claire wouldn't have run far, most likely bolted back to the ship.
Garrus could feel the tension within the room, everyone dumbfounded as to what happened. After taking a deep breath, [b [+blue "Polawski, have Daniel's wrist looked at and make sure it's good. After that prepare the paperwork and have it ready for when I'm done. I'm going after Ms.Williams"]]. Picking up the cap he examined it, the semi-rough fabric brushing on his cold Turian skin.
Walking out the doors back to the ship Garrus noticed the unloading of the containers had stopped, the workers standing unsure around the already unloaded containers. To there Garrus directed his steps, walking slowly to extend thinking time.
Garrus had two options, call out Claire as Jane right here and then or have a more tête-à-tête with her and let her reveal herself. If Claire indeed was Jane Shepard, then she had some important reason as to play dead to the entire galaxy. Garrus didn't think Jane's action, if this Claire was indeed Jane, were fair, she'd already died once and the SR-1 Normandy crew had an emotional twist, but a second time? And because of the first time some of the Normandy's crew had even hoped for Shepard's return! Only a few later did everyone give up on the hope, and now it started to turn out she wasn't dead.
Despite his slow walking he'd already arrived near the unloaded containers. Maintaining a voice absent from emotion, even though a slow buildup had begun inside, [b [+blue "Ms.Williams, you forgot something. We're also going to need to file a report of what happened so I would appreciate it greatly if you'd come out with me and walk with me to the offices."]]
[size13[font "Sitka Text" Daniel tapped her on the shoulder snapping Shepard out of her thoughts]] [size13[#008000[font "Sitka Text" "you'll be fine Claire, just follow me, sign the docs and you can wait for me back on the ship. I have a few things to buy and deals to take care of, I shouldn't be too long but I'll radio you on the comms if I need you and vice versa".]]]
[size13[font "Sitka Text" Shepard frowned feeling a little uneasy but trusted Daniel so she smiled]] [size13[#FF0000[font "Sitka "sure Daniel, let's get this over with, the sooner we get this done the better I'll feel about it. Take your time on the Citadel, I can occupy myself on the ship whilst I wait for you".]]] [size13[font "Sitka Text" Shepard pulled down on her cap hiding her face, she would wear a helmet if she could but she didn't want to draw any attention to herself and wearing a helmet would cause suspicion.]]
[size13[font "Sitka Text" Daniel smiled and began to lead the way. Jane already knew where customs were, but she started walking over there Daniel would want to know how she knew where certain locations were. Luckily she didn't know anyone from customs, so no one would be able to recognise her acquaintance wise. Although it would surprise her if it would be the same people still working there that had spoken to her before... Customs were destroyed by the Reapers...]]
[size13[font "Sitka Text" As they both left the ship there were two people waiting for them at the entrance to the citadel. Not paying much attention Shepard glanced up, her eyes widening in horror, she couldn't believe who she was seeing]]
[size13[font "Sitka Text" Garrus Vakarian...]]
[size13[#FF0000[font "Sitka "There's no way..."]]] [size13[font "Sitka Text" Shepard said quietly to herself, so not even Daniel could hear her and he was a few yards in front of her. Shepard was never an emotional person but she could feel herself tearing up at the sight of him. However she couldn't help but smile a little, he looked no different and still had his scars, which Shepard found a little strange as the Citadel would have had the technology to remove them.]]
[size13[font "Sitka Text" Her thoughts were confirmed as the Turian introduced himself, again this caused Shepard to smirk a little]] [size13[i[font "Sitka Text" 'he's definitely not changed..']]] [size13[font "Sitka Text" Her heart was aching but if she could just get through his little section then she could be back on board the ship and wait for Daniel to finish his business and they could be back on Neria.]]
[size13[font "Sitka Text" She could tell Garrus was becoming suspicious of her, not being able to see someone's face and remaining silent would obviously cause suspicion, just as she opened her mouth to say something Daniel came to her rescue.]] [size13[#008000[font "Sitka Text" You'll have to excuse my pilot for being so quiet, she's not used to this many people and it's making her a little nervous. She avoids the Citadel at all costs, so it's a big deal for her to be here, right Claire?"]]]
[size13[font "Sitka Text" Shepard just gave a slight nod and looked to the side, Daniel then turned his attention to Garrus and the one called Polawski and gave his usual charming smile. Once everything seemed to have gone to plan and Garrus gave the all clear, Shepard panicked once more, she was being lead away from Daniel and more importantly the ship. This officer Polawski was leading her to a woman at a front desk and then directing her into a room which was more like a hallway.]]
[size13[+Orange[font "Sitka Text" "Sit over there".]]] [size13[font "Sitka Text" Doing as she was told Shepard parked her ass on a seat the officer pointed to. It wasn't really a room, it was more like a wide corridor with a few seats placed at the side. Plain white walls with advertisements moving around them and a few plants placed around to give it more 'warmth'. There were multiple people passing through, more than what she was expecting, more then enough for only one person to notice who she was. Volus, Salarian, Asari and Krogan. There was more than Shepard was used to seeing but it also didn't surprise her since the Genophage had been cured. They would no longer need to worry about the death or their children or their race becoming extinct.]]
[size13[font "Sitka Text" The thought made her think of Grunt and Wrex, both natural born fighters, short tempers and open minded. But they both had one hell of a sense of humour.]]
[size13[font "Sitka Text" A few Quarians also passed through and of course Turian. This was to be expected as the C-Sec headquarters wasn't too far from here. Shepard shuffled a little in her seat feeling a little nervous and uncomfortable and it was getting worse by the minute. She could just see it now Garrus walking over to her and Shepard not being able to take her eyes off of him. Everything she worked so hard for to make sure Shepard remained dead will have been in vain.]]
[size13[font "Sitka Text" Shepard stook up in frustration and causing Polawski to give her a dirty look as she disobeyed his orders. However if she let her thoughts run away with her any longer she would drive herself insane. So to clear her head, the best thing to do would be to move about. Walking around the waiting area as best as she could without bumping into someone passing through, she came across a bulletin board full of advertisements. Some were news articles and others were plain old junk.]]
[size13[font "Sitka Text" That's where Shepard saw it... The anniversary or her death, to her shock she noticed a plaque near the embassies with her name on it and a small inscription.]]
[size13[i[b[font "Sitka Text" Commander Jane Shepard fought bravely against the Reapers, even sacrificing herself so that we could continue living. She will always be a hero amongst men and will never be forgotten.]]]]
[size13[font "Sitka Text" Shepard couldn't help herself as a smile formed on her lips. She felt a sense on honour to have something to meaningful to her displayed for everyone to see. It wasn't done for the credit and acknowledgement though, it was done so that everyone could be safe and live their lives without being in fear of the Reapers waiting to wipe every living thing from the galaxy.]]
[size13[font "Sitka Text" Followed shortly after was a news article being reported by someone called Yessenia Arkwright, she had the stereotypical journalist voice.]]
[size13[b[font "Sitka Text" "Today marks the 10 year anniversary since the attack of the Reapers on the Citadel and Commander Shepard bravely giving away her life for the sake of the galaxy. Her heroic actions have enabled us to keep on living in peace. We have attempted to contact her crew from the Normandy but their only responses was she will never be forgotten. This is Yessenia Arkwright signing out".]]]
[size13[font "Sitka Text" Shepard looked down a painful expression on her face. It wasn't a surprise the crew from the Normandy didn't want to talk about her, it had been 10 years. The journalist most likely attempted to contact them for a statement and they probably got tired of saying the same thing on the anniversary of her death every single year. It was probably too painful...]]
[size13[font "Sitka Text" The person that upset her the most was there was no sign of Garrus, he wasn't even mentioned, but perhaps it was for the best, like Shepard had hoped, maybe he had moved on and settled down with someone else. After a few more advertisements of new restaurants and shops opening in the area and the newly revamped Purgatory bar. The bulletin repeated itself. Shepard had seen enough there was nothing else for her to look at so the only thing for her to do would be to return to her seat and wait for the all clear for her to return to the ship.]]
[size13[font "Sitka Text" But before this plan could take place something stopped her, rather someone stopped her. A familiar voice... A voice she knew all to well, a voice that she could never forget...]]
[size13[font "Sitka Text" Garrus Vakarian...]]
[size13[font "Sitka Text" Shepard quickly turned back facing the bulletin board, desperate for him to pass through and Shepard to go unnoticed. Her heart was pounding so hard, any louder and she expected it to burst through her chest.]]
[size13[font "Sitka Text" He was talking over details with Daniel, from what Shepard was guessing was that he was giving Daniel the all clear and he could enter on the Citadel without any problems, she hoped...]]
[size13[font "Sitka Text" All Shepard needed him to do was to move on through those doors and then she would be in the all clear. It was best for her to wait near the ship regardless of what the officer 'Polawski' told her to do. She wouldn't move from the ship until she was given the OK to board it.]]
[size13[font "Sitka Text" But in a split second, all of that changed...]]
[size13[font "Sitka Text" Losing herself in her own stupid thoughts, she didn't notice Daniel in the distance calling her name. So obviously he made his way over to her and gently grabbed her arm to bring her attention back. But it caught her by surprise and she grabbed his wrist, also knocking her cap off in the process as her long red hair now fell around her shoulders and her face was exposed... Daniel pulled a painful expression [size13[#008000[font "Sitka Text" "Jesus Claire! Who knew you had a grip like that!"]]]
[size13[font "Sitka Text" This however caught the attention of many people including Garrus... Everything she had worked so hard for...]]
[size13[font "Sitka Text" It was unavoidable, the two of them locked eyes, there was nothing Shepard could do about it. Garrus as quickly as he turned to look at her was walking towards her. Shepard quickly let go of Daniels wrist and slowly began backing away, she turned her head and noticed the exit was close and made a break for it.]]
The moment he walked in it was if an electrical field had occured. Every single C-Sec officer stiffened to acknowledge the entrance. Garrus kept the displeasure inside while keeping a polite smile on his scarry face. Yes they proved victorious in the galaxy uniting Reaper War, but the price couldn't be simply vanished. Countless dead, displaced folk, children who'd never see their parents, several bloody messes combining into one big bloody ocean.
Gazing at the docking bays, Garrus' eyes furrowed. A single Turian eyebrow slowly raised before quickly dipping down. For every ship docked multitudes of empty ones came craving a ship to hold. This being day one of a galaxy wide party, no ships would be moving. Most traffic would be coming in-and-out before or after, especially the day before the first one. Even though Garrus didn't pay attention, even for his inattentiveness towards ship tracking even Garrus noticed a sudden influx of aliens on board the station.
Another ship floated into view. Had it been looking more or less like a space travelling craft, but this one wasn't. Garrus had his experience with junk crafts, usually for travelling under the radar, but the craft in his eyes made the craft he'd travelled on look like cheap pleasure rides. At least the junk craft he'd travelled on appeared uniform on the outside, this junk craft made no attempt to disguise its irregularities.
Turning to one of the C-Sec officers while pointing at the docking, floating heap of junk, [b [+blue "Can someone explain to me what that is?"]]. His voice demanding an answer and allowing no arguments, perhaps too harsh but business was business. A few seconds passed before a masculine male voice answered, [b [+orange "Trading ship inbound from the planet Neria."]] Neria? He'd never heard of such a planet, [b [+blue "Neria? Never heard of such a planet"]]. [b [+orange "It's an extremely small, about 100 human only colony dealing with farming and mining. They don't bother anyone and for that reason no one really cares about it. They do trade, and that happens to be their only ship"]]. Garrus nodded his head, looking at the human C-Sec officer who'd answered his question while dropping his arm back down to his side. [b [+blue "I'll take lead, you,"]], pausing to get the human's name, [b [+orange "Polawski"]], [b [+blue "Polawski you watch my back"]].
The two of them approached the docked rust bucket, two humans exiting it. A male with green eyes, blond hair with dark complexion, and a well built body with a stance projecting relaxed confidence. The other human was a female one with that distinct long hair infused with a violently blood red color, also with green eyes but a stance that showed less confidence and more nervousness and wonderment. Garrus knew that the Citadel only by itself could impart that feeling of wonderment, the addition of various people and activities further increased that feeling as well as one making seem more insignificant.
Garrus walked with his customary military gait, one of his permanent habits he never bothered to get rid off along with others, also stopping with military precision a few feet in front of the two humans while sliding his feet shoulder length apart and arms behind his back. [b [+blue Greetings and welcome to the Citadel. I am Garrus Vakarian and my partner is Officer Polawski, we'll be conducting your inspection today"]].
A quiet few seconds delay occurred, the human male reaching and pulling out a datapad while extending the hand holding it. Garrus noted the practiced with ease motion as he extended his own hand to take the datapad, this human knew the way around the Citadel.
Bringing the datapad up to his chest Garrus leaned his head downwards and a bit in to read. The still intact mandibles slightly moved side-to-side while taking in the data on the holographic screen, unconsiously bringing up a hand to scratch the still heavily scarred cheek before dropping the hand down.
Daniel and Claire, the two humans brave, or crazy or both, enough to pilot a rustbucket from a small planet to here with some ores, farming and mining equipment, and a few other small in-bulk things. How this ship never once been pulled aside by pirates or mercenary group and plundered was curious, a ship with no defenses were extremely popular targets for such groups.
Without moving his head Garrus' cloudy green/grey eyes swiveled up, black beads looking over the two humans while occasionally taking a glance back at the datapad. The descriptions for both Claire and Daniel perfectly matched. Garrus slightly shifted his stance, the feet settling into a wider position, while his mandibles audibly clicked, something bothering him about Claire. Something kept telling him he'd run into her somewhere in the past. But how could he have run into her without noticing a female with such beautiful red hair? It couldn't be, for Claire came from a planet which he'd never heard of until today and probably had never even went off-planet.
Garrus shook his head, lifting back up and extending the datapad back to Daniel. Slightly turning his head towards Polawski, [b [+blue "Polawski, keep an eye out on Ms.Williams. Something happens, tell me right away"]]. Less than a second passed and already looking at Daniel, [b [+blue "I want to conduct a physical inspection of the goods you are transporting"]], Garrus' voice stern but not harsh. He didn't really care what Daniel thought, this sort of job needed to be done right and searches fell under it.
Allowing Daniel to turn around Garrus followed shortly followed. One item that never left his back, except for a few occasions, was his M-92 Mantis sniper rifle, countless lives claimed throughout the many years he'd owned it. Being on his back it only showed as a black and white rectangular prism, a similarly shaped glossed grey item being the M-15 Vindicator assault rifle, and an M-6 Carnifex pistol holstered.
The inside appeared more smooth than the outside, but it still had that cobbled together feeling to it. Garrus kept his mouth shut as pilots never appreciated having their ship being criticized by anyone, even members of the ship; Joker being one such pilot, but he definitely was one of the best pilots.
After being led to the cargo bay Garrus asked Daniel to open the containers while standing off to the side with crossed arms to watch for any suspicious behavior. With the containers being opened Garrus walked up and checked each and everyone; everything on the list was there and nothing appeared that wasn't on the list. With one last glance to satisfy his curiosity, Garrus stood back up and turned to face Daniel. [b [+blue "Everything is in order. You can close the containers and we'll go sign the papers"]].
Secretly Garrus had hoped for a challenge, something to relieve the dull monotony. And then another thought popped into his head, Polawski hadn't reported anything in. Most likely nothing had happened, but there was always that chance of something weird happening.
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