Even when she tried, Shepard was not graced with sleep when night came. She managed to keep some rations down and drank plenty of water that Garrus gave her. It tasted stale, but was better than eventual dehydration.
She was sat upright against the wall, staring at the blue flicker of the fuel burner in the centre of the room. She would regularly glance up at Garrus, who was also sleeping in fits and starts. He kept his rifle on his lap and fidgeted often, sometimes low grumbles would make their way to Shepard's ears.
Her limbs ached and complained when she moved them, making her wince and grunt as she readjusted her position to face the small window where she could see through the gaps it was still raining. She shot another glance at the Turian to find a pair of icy blue eyes staring back.
"Can't sleep?" He grumbled.
"No." She replied shortly.
"I won't hurt you."
"Then put your gun away."
"I can't do that."
"Then I can't sleep"
Shepard stared at him blank faced and he did the same. She only just noticed his mandibles twitch in the dim light, giving away his emotions. If only she could understand Turian body language.
"We need to move tomorrow. You should rest." he said, breaking the eye contact to shift his position again, bringing a knee up.
"Why take me with you?" She asked.
"You could be useful."
"The war is almost at an end Turian, I'm damaged goods."
The Turian growled, slow and clicking.
"What rank do you hold within your military?" He asked.
Shepard narrowed her eyes as she watched him. She had to make a decision. Fast.
"Commander." She replied in a clipped tone.
As the translator beeped out the word the Turians eyes widened in a split second ad he regarded her.
Shepard tilted her head back against the wall. She had just lied. Lied to a Turian! In a split second moment of self-preservation she had lied about her rank in hopes that come the morning she wouldn't be shot in the back. After all, it was a well-known fact that not many prisoners were taken but Turians, and only high ranking officers were considered 'useful'. She chewed her lip and sighed through her nose.
Garrus broke the silence
"I'm going to hand you in to the Hierarchy when we reach my position," He said slowly. She didn't look at him. "You'll be held as a prisoner of war." She was still staring at the ceiling. When no reply came he grumbled and flexed out his shoulders, settling down.
Shepard pulled her knees up close to her chest and wrapped her arms around them. She closed her eyes but only feigned sleep. She had no time for that, she had to come up with a solid gold plan by morning.
Garrus slept in short intervals, each time waking with a start and clutching his rifle. He would hastily glance at where the human was sitting, each time finding her quiet and detached, either with her eyes closed or staring at the ceiling above her. The concrete sheltering them dripped in places with steady rhythm that accompanied the low and constant din of rainfall, the air musty and stale and the light just bright enough to give away the mornings arrival. The fuel burner had gone out and the chill had invited itself back in, wet puffs of air showing the human was still breathing.
Garrus cracked his neck to the side and repositioned his grip on his rifle with stiff fingers. It took a tremendous amount of effort to stand, and he did so groaning, rolling his shoulders out and breathing deep. He looked down at the human with its eyes closed and studied her for a second, tilting his head as he regarded the strange wisps of hair that twitched on her brow. He nudged her with his foot and she woke with a jolt, staring up at him momentarily startled until she adjusted. He nodded once and went to the fuel burner, kneeling down and gently disassembling it before packing it away. He also gathered his rations and ammunition before turning back to the human.
"Time to go." He explained.
She nodded and sat forward, reaching for the canteen beside her.
"How far?" She asked.
"About a mile. I need to get back to my vehicle to access the radio coms and contact my command. We will then make our way to their positions."
She nodded and wiped her mouth, screwing the cap back onto the canteen.
She went to stand and suddenly cried out, making Garrus whirl around. She had doubled over and was shaking, baring her teeth and breathing sharply. He assumed that she had opened the wounds in her back and grunted, stepping towards her.
"You need more medi-gel," He said "It will help with the pain."
"Medi-gel?" She asked between gasps. Garrus nodded.
"It's damn good stuff, I don't understand why you humans don't have it."
"regardless, please take off your clothes."
"It's freezing!" She protested.
"I will be quick." He saw her hesitate and clutch at her parka. He rumbled softly in attempts to comfort her, then remembered that humans were not partial to nudity. "No need to be shy human," He said "It's nothing I haven't already seen."
Her brow lowered and her eyes narrowed, in a blatant display of aggression that shocked Garrus into a low growl as he changed his stance and grip on his rifle. She bared her teeth and his mandibles twitched in annoyance and anticipation, drawing close to his face.
"Fuck you Turian." She spat, shakily lifting herself onto one knee and slowly standing. She rose and met Garrus in the eye, brow still drawn in anger and aggression. She was slightly hunched over and he could see the twitches of pain about her eyes and mouth. She was clutching at her clothing defensively and regarding him with what he read as disgust.
Since he met this red human he was shocked with how unconcealed her emotions were, how she displayed so much upon her face. He knew that this was important to human culture and communication but it was still unsettling him and Garrus knew it would take a lot of time to get used to. However he knew he had breached some sort of human cultural barrier, and although he did not intent to offend he knew that dealing with this human was going to be difficult and wondered what exactly he had gotten himself into.
Since she told him she held the rank of commander, he had a sudden glimmer of hope that perhaps this whole endeavour was not going to be a waste of time and effort after all. If he could just get her back in one piece and hope she had some useful information, the benefits to both of them would be paramount. Surviving an ambush and bringing in tactical information could surely paint him in a good light, and then the hierarchy might start to notice him, and if he was lucky, prove to his father that joining the military was more beneficial that sitting behind a C-sec desk on the citadel. However, he was getting nowhere quickly at this rate.
He stepped back and straightened out, lowing his head so he regarded her under his brow.
"I don't mean to offend," He explained slowly, "I just want to help." The simple admission seemed to make the human commander relax slightly as he watched the tension bleed from her shoulders and her face softened, but she still shook.
"It's for you own good," He said, "It won't hurt."
"I don't care about the pain." She snapped.
But she slowly began to unzip the bulky parka that covered her frame. She turned away from him and kneeled, slowly lifting up several layers to reveal her back. She shook from cold and pain and clutched her parka to her chest. Garrus took a note of what the human concealed.
"Hurry up." She said with a shiver.
Garrus knelt behind her and got out the medi-gel. He wrinkled up his nose as he applied the ointment to the humans burnt back. She sighed in relief.
"You stink." He said
A/N: Sorry for slow and small updates, but i have been very busy. I wrote this chapter on a train out of London. I've been doing work as an extra for movie coming out in 2015, so if you happen to go and see 'Girls Night Out' next year, I'm jumping off a route master in Trafalgar Square :D
Anyway, thanks for all the wonderful reviews and favourites, it makes me really happy! I was told I was spelling Shepards name wrong (oops) so I've taken extra care to change it. I hope it didn't annoy anyone too much. When i have time, I'm going to go back through the chapter and bunch them together to make them longer, change any mistakes and other things but until then thanks for sticking with me and I hope you enjoy chapters even if they are a bit small.