Codename: Archangel. All-around Turian bad boy and dispenser of justice in an unjust galaxy.
v. to speak or act deceptively in jest
Looking over the report on his desk, Bailey couldn’t decide if he wanted to bang his head against it or fall over laughing. He turned his gaze to the couple in front of him. A scarred up turian and the galaxy’s hero, both patiently waiting for him. Neither seeming bothered that they were under arrest.
“So,” Bailey said. “You two went up to the top of the Presidium to shoot bottles.”
“We used practice slugs,” Vakarian clarified.
“And the bottles?”
“Practice bottles,” Shepard answered and received a sharp elbow to the side from the turian beside her.
“Wine bottles, sir,” Vakarian explained. “Nothing dangerous. Just practicing.”
Bailey arched a brow. “At the top of the Presidium?”
He gave a sheepish shrug. “Never been up there before.”
Bailey ran a hand over his face, letting out a small sigh. “Considering who you are and what you do, I will let it slide this. Once,” he added firmly.
Shepard nodded. “Thanks, Commander.”
“Don’t thank me, just…the next time you two go out on a date, try a restaurant.”
“Don’t know of any restaurants that let you practice your aim,” she mused, smirking at Bailey’s alarm. “Kidding.”
Vakarian shook his head as he stood up. “Shepard, you’re going to give the poor man a stroke.”
Sometimes you need a drink. Or ten.
adj. having a rough or harsh quality; ragged
He found her standing in front of the elevator. She held herself stiffly, arms folded tight against her chest glaring at the memorial wall as if it had punched her. She didn’t acknowledge him as he stepped to her side and he made no effort at conversation, waiting for her lead as always.
"Whoever put that there should be shot," she grumbled after a moment.
Hope I’m not too late for Vakarian Family Father’s Day Feels.
adj. looking exhausted and unwell, especially from fatigue, worry, or suffering
Hira splashed a handful of water on her face in an attempt to shake off the nausea the nightmare had left behind. She stood there for a while, staring at the sink, water dripping off her nose and chin to plink against the metal. Eventually she raised her gaze to the mirror. An weary woman stared back at her, green eyes framed in dark circles.
She shook her head. Only a few months into the war and already she felt like an ad for death. And it would only get worse; a cheerful prospect.
The cabin door chimed. “It’s open.”
She didn’t move, listening to the familiar tread of steps. After a moment Garrus peered in, mandibles flicking. “Hira?”
She straightened, military discipline returning as she shoved her exhaustion aside. “Problem?”
“Nothing that can’t wait a few minutes.” He stepped closer. “Bad dream?”
Hira sighed, looking back down at the sink, and tried not to think about her recent run of night terrors. As if she didn’t have enough going against her, she could only get a couple hours sleep a night. “Among other things.”
His mandibles tightened in a frown. “I should have come up here with you.”
She shook her head. “Had work to do. Not the first time I’ve had a rough night, I’ll live.”
Garrus cupped her face with both hands and pressed his forehead to hers. Hira closed her eyes at his touch, her own hands rising to cover his. His thumbs smoothed over her cheeks, talons scratching a little. “I’ll be here next time,” he promised.
She let out a heavy breath as she leaned into him, letting him take her weight. “…Good.”
v. to freely devote, set aside, or sacrifice for a purpose.
Garrus watched silently as Hira puffed on a cigarette, her gaze seeing past the floor of the shuttle into the stars. He didn’t have to ask what she thought about. Lieutenant Victus would likely linger in all their minds for a while yet.
He’d done well at the end. Not a second of hesitation in getting the job done. It amazed Garrus a little how much the lieutenant had grown in a few short days. But then Shepard had that affect on people. Challenging them to be better and accepting nothing but the best they had to give. She’d pushed Victus and he’d risen to her challenge. Not something most people could claim.
He knew she was analyzing the mission now, pushing herself to improve as she pushed everyone else. Sorting through flaws and successful strategies, how to be better for the next fight, weighing how she’d improved from the last one. Weighing Victus and how he had improved.
She’d follow the example Victus set, as would he. Sacrifice every bit of herself to win this war. The thought filled him with both pride and terror.
Garrus crossed the shuttle and laid a hand on her shoulder. Hira looked up at him, breathing out a lungful of smoke. He didn’t say anything, simply holding her gaze. She gave a brief smile after a moment.
If the galaxy asked for everything she had to give, he would be right there with her to the very end.
n. the shooting of projectiles from weapons, especially bullets from guns.
Vega flashed a grin as the commander racked another clip into her rifle. “Good to be back in action, Commander?”
Hira lined up a shot, rifle bucking into her shoulder as the target dropped. “Hell yes.”
Her next target dropped before she touched the trigger. Smugness dripped from the turian’s voice. “Too slow, Shepard.”
She couldn’t help smirking as she growled a warning. “Sure you want to start that, Vakarian?”
"You’ve been out of the game for six months. I think that gives me an edge."
"Let your ego swell at least." She took a target, pleased by the grunt of disapproval from him. "Have to do something about that."
A grenade bounced into the killzone, taking down two targets. “How about you two just get a room and I’ll take care of this,” Vega suggested.
Hira chuckled and sniped another target. “New challenger, Garrus.”
"Using grenades is cheating."
Vega snorted as Hira flicked her cloak on. “And that isn’t?”
"That’s cheating too, Shepard, and you know it."
She ignored them, moving to the last target’s hiding place. Her omnitool slid through the armor easily and she stood upright as her cloak flickered off. “Twenty-three. I win.”
Garrus shook his head, mandibles spread in a turian smile. “Definitely like old times.”