Hello all! This is my first fic, so I thought I'd start with something fun and light. It's totally pointless, but it was definitely amusing to write. Enjoy!
Oh, and I don't own Mass Effect or any of the other uber fun stuff. Sigh.
Shit. He cringes, anticipating the throb in the recesses in his skull.
A hand rises to his temple, waiting to massage the pained point.
The other hand grasps at the wall, ready to support his weight once the vertigo sets in.
Another buzz increases in volume in his left ear. The obnoxious but familiar noise always draws dread and bile up from his stomach. It is the harbinger of agony; his body's only warning that his cerebrum will soon split in two.
The sound grows louder still, a stark and bold blaring against the quiet din of the atmospheric filters. Kaidan closes his eyes and seethes through his teeth, reminding himself to keep breathing once the invisible spike tears through his skull.
There's a tickle on his ear and he scratches it without much thought.
The buzzing becomes distant, but it wavers in volume. The sound drifts to him from the panel in front of him and he opens one eye, expecting to feel the lance of torment in his forehead.
But the migraine does not plague him. Cautiously Kaidan opens the other eye and blinks; testing to see if his mind is fooling him. His orange panel glows contently before him but he does not see any of the telltale signs of his typical L2 headaches.
Frowning in confusion, he sets back to inspecting the auxiliary power systems within the Normandy. As his finger brushes against the illuminated screen, a square, representing the interior lighting system, blinks to life. With a swipe of his hand, the digital object swings across the monitor and lands in the 'pile' of other systems he plans to scan through later.
Dammit! He knows that it was too much to hope that it had only been a false alarm. Sometimes his migraines liked to engage in guerilla warfare; appearing sporadically to whittle away at his tolerance. This tactic would takes hours, with a sharp pang occurring every twenty minutes or so. Eventually — once he had been worn down and weakened — the full migraine would settle in. By this point Kaidan would simply retire to the medical bay where the good doctor would allot him some rather potent pain medication. The rest of the day would be spent alone in the quiet, though slightly claustrophobic, confines of a sleeper pod. He has no doubts this day would end the same way.
Something shoos by the corner of his vision but he ignores it. It's probably just one of those 'green shooting stars of death' that came hand-in-hand with his headaches. Kaidan looks back at his screen with a scowl. He is just going to have to work through the migraine; these inspections needed to be done.
A twist of the wrist and a diagram of the heat/power conversion system disintegrates into its hundreds of separate components. He sighs. This tedious task certainly isn't going to help his head any.
His hand, ready to begin filing through the virtual ship bits, stops dead. That can't be right. He leans toward the screen, coming down into a squat. Kaidan tilts his head to the side like a curious dog and stares at the display.
Looking back at him with big glossy compound eyes is a small twitchy bug. It looks like a simple housefly; like the ones he used to swat in his mother's kitchen back on Earth. She used to pay him a quarter for every little insect he smacked with the old plastic fly swatter.
The fly sits, perfectly still and stoic against its orange humming background. Then with a flick of the wings it's gone.
So it wasn't the onset of a migraine he had been hearing. Instead it had been this little bug buzzing around his console, attracted by the orange light. The insect circles the tech station a few times, apparently basking in the overhead lights while trying to find a suitable landing zone.
The lieutenant follows it with his eyes, watching it intently. How could a fly be on the Normandy? This is a sterile ship. It would have been fried the moment it entered the airlock.
He sees the bug land on the hood of an unoccupied sleeper pod, and Kaidan can't resist the urge to investigate it. It's like he's back in his old house in Vancouver and he's eight years old again, trying to make a few quarters. Rounding the corner of his console he glances around the mess area. The table is empty, as are the surrounding walkways.
He climbs the few steps to the sleeper pods, each footstep quiet on the metal grating. Pressing fingers into the glass cover, he eases himself closer, his eyes sharp and intent. The fly seems oblivious, happily preening its wings and running its forelegs over its eyes.
Kaidan watches it, mesmerized by the tiny creature. How did it end up so far from Earth? Did it come in with some cargo? They hadn't been to Earth since before Eden Prime. Could it have survived so long in this derelict environment?
Maybe it came in from the Citadel. Some of the food markets in the Wards were filled with flies, alien and human alike. It probably snuck aboard a shipment of rations and hid out in the relative safety of the packaging until one of the crew opened the crate. Or maybe it came in with some of the armour and weapons the Quartermaster always went out to find.
It's gone again, wings beating out that same buzzing tune. He steps slowly, following the bug's frantic flight path. From afar he sees it land on the large mess table, exploring a crumb left behind from the last hungry crew member. The insect's mouth descends and latches onto the stale morsel, sucking up whatever nourishment it can find.
Beside the feeding fly is an abandoned mug, the old stains from a cup of coffee still evident in its bottom. Absently, Kaidan fingers the handle and pulls the Alliance embossed tankard into his hand.
Maybe if he could catch it…
He blinks. What would he do with a fly? Keep it as a pet? Hide it in a jar under the display at his station and feed it drops of water and crumbs? Kaidan has to smile at the ridiculous thought. Maybe I could train it to fly through hoops. He thinks sarcastically. I bet Joker'd pay to see that.
It was probably just better to catch the bug and be rid of it before it could multiply and infest the ship. Without any enemies on board, the fly would be free to do what it wanted, completely uninhibited. Not that one fly could do that much...
Stooping carefully, a hand reaches out with the mug and the lip comes to rest an inch from the grazing insect. Slowly he lets the cup descend over the oblivious bug. He focuses keenly, trying to anticipate the fly's actions. The insect seems oblivious to the shadow looming over it, and it contently continues to suck on its crumb.
The rim of the mug settles firmly on the table, the fly successfully trapped beneath. Kaidan lets out the breath he didn't know he had held and he smiles in satisfaction.
"Lieutenant?" Kaidan freezes, his hand grasping the mug tightly. Brown eyes dart upward and he sees Commander Shepard staring at him, confused by his strange antics. "What are you doing?"
It's then that he realizes just how ridiculous he looks; hunkered over the table and attempting to catch an insignificant little insect. His face burns a near-florescent red. How would he explain this?
"There's a fly," he blurts out rather suddenly. "Ma'am."
"A fly?" She raises an eyebrow and Kaidan hears Dr. Chakwas' haughty snicker behind him. He'd been so consumed in apprehending the bug he hadn't even seen them. A groan nearly escapes his lips as the blood continues to flood his cheeks.
"Yes ma'am. A housefly." His voice is tiny and quiet and he adverts her skeptical gaze.
"A fly." She says again, the words coming out slowly, as if she's not sure she understands their meaning. Kaidan lifts the mug and points down to the gap beneath, but finds that the little crumb is perched on the table alone.
"It…" He pulls the mug up from the table and inspects the area where he had last seen the fly. When he doesn't find the bug, he does a quick semi-panicked look around the mess, then down to search the inside of the mug. Kaidan listens intently, waiting for the telltale buzzing to return, but the room remains silent. "It was right here." A finger stabs at the spot on the table.
Commander Shepard nods slowly, her face serious, though her eyes humoured. She shoots a short glance at the smiling Dr. Chakwas, and then looks back at her humiliated lieutenant.
"Go ahead and take the rest of the shift off, lieutenant. I think you need a little sleep." A swift turn — but not before Kaidan sees a touch of a smile on her tight lips — and she's gone, leaving him alone with Dr. Chakwas. He turns to explain, hoping that maybe she won't think him an idiot like he expects her to, but the gentle laughter and the swish of the doors tells him the physician has already retreated to her medical bay.
Kaidan runs a hand down over his face and sets the mug down loudly.
"Great." He mumbles to himself, stalking back over to his orange console, his head hanging in shame and embarrassment.
Maybe he had imagined the whole thing…
Maybe he really did need the extra sleep…
"Go to hell."
There you have it folks! I hope you liked it. Please read and review!