Author: Pirate Thirteen PM
A little taste of what's going on while Rylie Shepard is under arrest. Here's a hint: She goes a little loco.Rated: Fiction T - English - Humor/Angst - Shepard (F) & James V. - Words: 1,507 - Reviews: 2 - Favs: 3 - Follows: 2 - Published: 07-23-12 - Status: Complete - id: 8352290
|A+ A- Full 3/4 1/2 Expand Tighten|
The media had always portrayed Commander Shepard as calm, patient and strong. Even as far back as the Akuze tragedy, when she started to appear in the headlines, she had been like this. The few interviews that she allowed had also shown this remarkable woman. Shown her as troubled by her experience but still strong enough to pushforward with life. And for a while, when James Vega hadfirst met her in person, it still held true. There she was, in handcuffs, accused of terrorism, and the first thing out of her mouth to him was...
"Are you okay?"
"Yeah, I'm fine. Why?" Vega asked.
"You look and smell like you were just in a bar fight. Someone smash a bottle on you?" She eyed him up and down.
"Uh...something like that," Vega picked at a piece of glass in his arm.
"Anderson, you need to get this kid cleaned up. He's going to get an infection with all the garbage floating around Omega," she said.
Kid. She called him kid. Vega still wasn't sure what Admiral Anderson's motivation was to pull his sorry ass off a street on Omega just to be a bodyguard for Shepard. If it was for intimidation, it didn't work. For the rest of the trip back to Earth, Vega remained star struck by her presence. She took everything seriously and professionally. Since the attack on the Citadel, she had earned a bit of a reputation for being defiant. Now here she was, with theapparentbehavior of a common, obedient soldier. She followed orders and repeated, "Yes, sir." It seemed a bit odd, because even Vega was sure her reasons behind the destruction of the Bahak system were solid. The only reason he could thinkof to explain why she was so passive was pure maturity and respect for the situation.
Then she was settled down into her house arrest, waiting for the trial to start at the end of the month. Trials for the rest of the few Normandy crew took place in that time and evidence was gathered for Shepard in the process. Vega was one of the very few permitted to visit her and he had to do soperiodically throughout the day. As time went on it seemed like things started to unravel for her.
"You're cleaning the window again?" Vega asked as he entered the room.
"A bug committed suicide on the window. I tried to clean it off, but then I realized it was on the other side. So I figured I'll just finish the whole window off so I don't just have the one clean spot," She didn't even turn to look at him, she was so focused on scrubbing the window.
"Uh huh...what bug?" Vega asked looked around the spotless glass surface.
Shepard pointed a soapy, gloved hand up to a small dot on the window, "Right there."
"How did you even notice it? I can barely see it," Vega squinted at the window.
"It was casting a shadow on the floor." She looked down at the floor behind her and shook her head, "It's gone now 'cause the sun's moved, but it was there. Trust me. It was very big and very noticeable."
"I'm sure it was," Vega said.
"Don't use that tone," she warned.
"Sorry," Vega cleared his throat. He looked around the room. It was pristine. As if she hadjust moved in within the last hour. If he hadn't known better, he would have questioned if she really lived there. Cleanliness and order was drilled into every marines head, but Shepard wasn't on duty and the level of it that she maintained seemed more thanobsessive.
"I see you've also rearranged your furniture again," he said.
"You sure they can't find something for me to do?" she asked.
"No they've got nothing for you to do," he said.
"Did you tell them I'll do paper work?" she asked.
"Yes," he said.
"I'll count things. Tell them they can bring me something to count, anything at all. I'll count..." She waved her hand a moment, stuck on what she was going to say and then she finally got out, "Potatoes...I'll cut them too, for the meals."
Now the situation was a little clearer to Vega. She was bored and she liked to remain active. Even though the Alliance had pampered her compared to the normal treatment of a terrorist, the whole house arrest was still absolute torture to her. She needed something to keep her occupied.
"How about you read a book," Vega shrugged. The look that crossed Shepard's face was cold, hard and angry. It forced him to take a step back, unsure where he went wrong in the suggestion. "I mean, you've got access to the academies' extranet libraries through the terminal. There's millions of books in there that should keep you busy for a good while."
She looked back at the terminal with disgust, "I'd rather have access to some of my omni tool files and my message box."
"Sorry, you know that can't happen," Vega shook his head.
She turned quietly back to scrubbing the window. Boredom was only a part of it. Loneliness must have been a problem. She wanted access to communication for company and any personal files related to the few she knew stored on her omni tool. She didn't have any family and much to Vega's surprise, she had very, very few friends. Though they may have all been scared away by what she had done. The one person that had attempted to contact her so far could not be trusted. An obscure lover whosemessage was under a heavy enough encryption that the tech lab would have had difficulty cracking it if they didn't have access to her personal message box. They couldn't even get a trace back to where the message had come from. From what Vega was told, the whole thing looked suspicious. Handing the message over to her, or any other future message from this guy now posed a huge security risk. The boredom because of inactivity on the other hand, would have to be solved instead.
"Maybe I can submit a request for one of those virtual reality game headsets. One of the ones with motion control gloves," Vega suggested.
"Yeah! I'm sure the alliance will throw down a few thousand credits so I can play some video games." Her tone was heavy with sarcasm, "Think you can also put in a request to get the outside of my window clean? That bug is going to drive me nuts."
"Forecast says it's going to rain all week, I'm sure squishy will get washed away," Vega said.
"I'm going to hold that against you." She turned and dipped a cloth into a bucket before she continued to wash the window, "If the rain falls the wrong direction all week, I'm going to make you go out there and clean the window for me," she flashed a smile back to him.
"We'll see about that," he laughed a little.
"Oh and I need some more hand soap," she said.
"Hand soap? You're out of hand soap again?" he asked.
"Yeah, but don't get the flower crap this time. That stuff smells horrible," she said.
"Are you drinking it? You've gone through three bottles in a week," Vega said.
"Three bottles?" she repeated, as she seemed to lose herself in thought for a moment.
"I told you already. Maintenance threw a fit when I got that third one," Vega said. He wasn't exactly sure how he would be able to obtain another bottle this time. They literally threatened to report the whole thing to their superiors. Every penny counted.
He watched as she pulled her left glove off and looked at her hand. She turned it front to back and flexed her fingers, "Maybe I should read some books."
"Er...sure," Vega tried to remain casual out of fear he would piss her off again.
"And don't bother with the hand soap for a little while... and...don't shake hands with me for a bit," she said. Vega couldn't help but flinch at the idea.
Every famous person has to have their quirks, don't they?
"I think I'm going to go get you some more soap," Vega said.
"No, no," she shook her head, "I don't need any more soap. I'll just use my shampoo or something. I still have plenty of that left."
"Then you'll just run out of that faster and military supplier will throw a fit that you're on your third bottle. I'm going to get you more hand soap, I'll figure something out," he said.
"Fine. Just...get me the flowery stuff again," she said.
"I thought you didn't want the flowery stuff," he said.
"It would be a good idea because I don't like the smell. I will use it less," she said.
"Alright. Flowery stuff it is," Vega turned to leave the room. He mumbled to himself, "This is going to be a very long trial."